Raiola: Azzurri outcast Balotelli Dortmund-bound

Solskjaer ‘lost for words’ as Rashford suffers racist abuse after missing penalty

Mario Balotelli, recently omitted from the Italy squad for non-football reasons, will be a Borussia Dortmund player next season, says the player's controversial agent.

The former Nice hitman and free-agent has found himself on the receiving end of some harsh words from Azzurri boss Giampiero Ventura, who admitted that the player has been omitted from the national squad for reasons not involving the quality of his play.

"It's not a technical quality problem, but otherwise," Ventura told reporters when asked about the player's surprising omission from the Italy squad currently preparing for their upcoming World Cup qualification campaign.

"I've never coached him, and when I met him I told him what his problem was with absolute clarity," the coach continued, in likely reference to the player's professionalism and temperament which, in the past, has been a cause for concern.

"I tried to make him understand his road back to be a major player in the national team," he continued.

"He cannot come back to be another number. This is the year of the World Cup and it's a choice he must make."

Meanwhile, the mercurial forward's agent, Mino Raiola, was spotted in Dortmund and asked to comment on recent rumours that his client is a target for the Schwarzgelben.

"Yes," the Dutch agent confirmed. "Balotelli will play for Dortmund."

Whether the statement can be taken seriously or not remains to be seen as Raiola has somewhat of a reputation for gamesmanship when it comes to negotiating the futures of this clients.

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