Ahead of Saturday’s official announcement, Gazzetta dello Sport made a list of 33 players who may be called up for the Azzurri’s first friendlies and beyond after missing out on the World Cup.
While the full-time new Italy boss is yet to be announced, Luigi Di Biagio has already been at work preparing for his first two matches in charge against Argentina and England.
Di Biagio is likely to deploy a 4-3-3 in the two friendlies later this month, featuring many new faces such as Pellegrini, Chiesa and the recall of Mario Balotelli.
Also noted is are Domenico Berardi and Bryan Cristante, two players very accustomed to Di Biagio’s style.
The list from Gazzetta dello Sport:
Goalkeepers: Buffon, Donnarumma, Perin.
Right wingback: Florenzi, Conti*, Zappacosta.
Left wingback: Spinazzola, Calabria*, De Sciglio.
Centerbacks: Bonucci, Caldara, Rugani, Chiellini, Romagnoli, Ferrari*.
Midfielders: Pellegrini, Barella*, Gagliardini, Verratti, Cristante, Bonaventura, Jorginho, Parolo, Mandragora*.
Attackers: Bernardeschi*, Verdi, Berardi, Insigne, Chiesa, El Shaarawy, Immobile, Balotelli, Belotti.
* Indicates players who are out injured for this round or have been called up by the Under-21 side.
The big question remains who will captain the Nazionale as Buffon will announce his decision on international retirement shortly. Di Biagio has left the door open to the all-time leading capped Italy player, but also suggested he would understand his decision if he decides to move on.
Meanwhile, it appears Andrea Barzagli has officially retired from international duty, while Daniele De Rossi is soon to follow suit.
Antonio Candreva, Claudio Marchisio and Eder are the other 30-year-old players who appear to not be in the immediate Azzurri plans.