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Veteran Caputo among three newcomers in Mancini’s Nations League squad


Milan (AFP) – Francesco Caputo was one of three newcomers named in Italy coach Roberto Mancini’s 37-man squad named on Thursday for next month’s Nations League matches against Bosnia and the Netherlands.

The Azzurri return after ten months against Bosnia in Florence on September 4 and the Netherlands on September 7 in Amsterdam.

Captain Giorgio Chiellini is back after more than a year’s absence, in a line-up which includes Inter defender Alessandro Bastoni and Sassuolo pair Manuel Locatelli and Caputo, for the first time.

Caputo, 33, was included after the best season of his career with 21 league goals.

Chelsea midfielder Jorginho and Brescia’s Sandro Tonali were named but their presence will depend on assessments after coronavirus quarantine.

Mancini will be looking to pick up where his side left off with a 9-1 Euro 2020 qualifying win over Armenia last November.

Italy are on an 11-match winning streak ahead of the next two months in which they will play eight games.

The matches in Italy will be play behind closed doors with the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) on Thursday publishing a 77-page health protocol.

The maximum number of people allowed in stadiums will be 500.

All players and staff will undergo coronavirus tests upon joining the team who will meet up at Italy’s training camp in Coverciano, near Florence on Saturday.

The players will be kept in isolation in their hotel rooms awaiting the results.

Italy squad:

Goalkeepers: Alessio Cragno (Cagliari), Gianluigi Donnarumma (Milan), Alex Meret (Napoli), Salvatore Sirigu (Torino)

Defenders: Francesco Acerbi (Lazio), Alessandro Bastoni (Inter), Cristiano Biraghi (Inter), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), Mattia Caldara (Atalanta), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Danilo D’Ambrosio (Inter), Giovanni Di Lorenzo (Napoli), Alessandro Florenzi (Roma), Gianluca Mancini (Roma), Luca Pellegrini (Juventus), Leonardo Spinazzola (Roma)

Midfielders: Nicolo Barella (Inter), Giacomo Bonaventura (without a club), Gaetano Castrovilli (Fiorentina), Bryan Cristante (Roma), Jorginho* (Chelsea/ENG), Roberto Gagliardini (Inter), Manuel Locatelli (Sassuolo), Lorenzo Pellegrini (Roma), Stefano Sensi (Inter), Sandro Tonali* (Brescia), Nicolo Zaniolo (Roma)

Strikers: Andrea Belotti (Torino), Federico Bernardeschi (Juventus), Francesco Caputo (Sassuolo), Federico Chiesa (Fiorentina), Stephan El Shaarawy (Shanghai Shenua/CHM), Ciro Immobile (Lazio), Lorenzo Insigne (Napoli), Moise Kean (Everton/ENG), Kevin Lasagna (Udinese), Riccardo Orsolini (Bologna).

*The call-up is suspended pending the outcome of  assessments at the end of the isolation period

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