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Page last updated at 14:10 GMT, Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Ghana coach targets Balotelli

Mario Balotelli
The 19-year-old grew up in Italy

Ghana coach Milovan Rajevac plans to meet Inter Milan's Mario Balotelli next week to try to convince to play for his team at next year's World Cup finals.

The son of Ghanaian immigrants, Balotelli was born and raised in Italy and is currently a member of the Azzurri's under-21 side.

But the 19-year-old has yet to turn out for Italy at international level

would be eligible for a call-up from Rajevac because he has never played for Italy at full international level.

"After the World Cup draw I'll go to Europe. I have a series of meetings planned with my players in the European (domestic) championship and my intention is to speak with Balotelli," Rajevac told Italian newspaper, Gazzetta dello Sport.

"The idea is to go to Bologna to meet our captain Stephen Appiah and get him to accompany me to Milan to meet Mario and (Sulley) Muntari.

"I'm happy with the strikers I have but Balotelli has exceptional qualities. Who wouldn't want someone like that?

"He's young, he plays in a big team and he's very, very good."

Balotelli turned down the chance to play for Ghana in a friendly against Senegal in 2007.

The teenager is at the centre of a storm over racism in Serie A ahead of this weekend's match between Inter and Juventus,.

He has repeatedly been the victim of racist and offensive chants, especially from Juventus fans.

Inter bosses have played down speculation linking the forward to Premier League club Arsenal after coach Jose Mourinho criticised his attitude on a number of occasions recently.

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see also
Can an African team win the 2010 World Cup?
02 Dec 09 |  Internationals
Ghana qualify for 2010 World Cup
06 Sep 09 |  African
Muntari fights for favour of fans
06 Jul 09 |  African

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