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EURO 2024 qualifiers

Italy coach Spalletti calls Torino’s Ricci to his squad amid betting scandal

Coach Luciano Spalletti has called Torino midfielder Samuele Ricci and could bring either Matteo Politano or Stephan El Shaarawy to his squad as replacements for Sandro Tonali and Nicolo Zaniolo as Italy look to put behind them this scandal ahead of Saturday’s Euro 2024 clash against Malta in Bari.

Italy face two must-win clashes in the next few days in their bid to qualify for Euro 2024 when they host Malta at the Stadio San Nicola in Bari on Saturday and then travel to Wembley Stadium to face England on Tuesday.

Newcastle United midfielder Tonali and Aston Villa forward Zaniolo were released from international duty on Thursday afternoon, as they were interviewed at the Coverciano training ground by police looking into allegations of illegal betting.

On Thursday evening, it was confirmed that coach Luciano Spalletti had decided to bulk up the squad by bringing in Torino midfielder Ricci.

There were also reports that Matteo Politano will be called, but it remains to be seen if he has recovered from an injury sustained with his club Napoli.

It is more likely that Spalletti will turn to Roma forward Stephan El Shaarawy.

Italy already lost Ivan Provedel, Ciro Immobile, Mateo Retegui and Lorenzo Pellegrini due to injuries for these qualifiers.

Mattia Zaccagni is not fully fit either and has only just joined training, while Federico Chiesa is likely to only be ready for the England match.

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