Balotelli banned for Italy U21

Mario Balotelli can count himself lucky after the UEFA decided to ban him for just one game following his sending off against Sweden.

The Inter striker will consequently miss tomorrow’s match against Belarus but will be ready for the semi-final, if the Azzurrini manage to reach that stage.

Balotelli lost his cool against Sweden when, after scoring a wonderful opener for Italy, he stepped over an opponent hitting him on the shin pads.

However, Gabriele Gravini, FIGC team manager in Sweden, tried to justify the youngsters actions.

“Mario did something wrong but the Swedish provoked him. We expect only a one match ban.”

Gravini’s theory must have been influential on the court’s decision, considering that the Swedes did nothing to hide their intents.

The day before the match their players claimed they were going to attack SuperMario and try to make him react. Even after the game the Swede who clashed with Balotelli said he wasn’t hurt and that the Italian didn’t really touch him.

Carvalho very close

The way for Ricardo Carvalho to join Inter has apparently been cleared as Chelsea have reportedly signed his replacement, Porto centre-back Bruno Alves.

The news comes after Alves’ father, Washington, told the English Press his son will definitely be leaving Portugal this summer.

“By now there are no doubts he will leave Porto. The player is happy now, because he is under contract, but the moment of the great leap has arrived,” he said.

Chelsea are said to have paid around £24m for Alves, who despite a horrible performance against Manchester United in March, remains a highly regarded centre-back.

Should Alves’ move to Stamford Bridge become official, Carvalho will be surplus to requirements.

The 31-year-old Portugal international is a known Inter target.

Last week, Massimo Moratti told La Gazzetta dello Sport he is doing everything to reunite Carvalho with Jose Mourinho.

Carvalho is one of Mourinho’s main disciples, having played under him at Porto and Chelsea.

He is wanted to address Inter’s problems at centre-back.

Cruz still without club

Our old striker is still looking for a club, says his agent.

“I haven’t received any call from the Rosanero so at the moment there is no news regarding Julio’s future,” said the player’s agent.

“I cannot say whether he would like to move to Sicily just because I want to talk about these things, I can only speak when there are offers on the table.

“We are ready to consider any offer coming from both in Italy and abroad,” he concluded.

Deco wants Inter, and only Inter

“I had a rather difficult season at Chelsea. I had a serious injury and I could not play my best football,” Deco said to the Corriere dello Sport.

“I was hoping for something different. My agent, Jorge Mendes, has talked to the club and said that I am not happy at Chelsea. I know full well that I have a contract but I would like to leave.

“Are Inter my preferred destination? Yes, I am waiting and I would love for this deal to go through.”

“I choose Inter because they are a club with a great history and because I would like to work again under a coach like Mourinho,” explained the 31-year-old.

“We had two and a half fantastic years at Porto, during which we won all that we could.

“I hope ‘Ibra’ will stay, because he is an important player. He is one of the best around and I would love to have him as my team-mate.”