Mancini considers Joao Pedro and Lucca for Italy

Italy are desperate for goals ahead of the World Cup play-offs in March and Roberto Mancini is reportedly considering both Lorenzo Lucca and Joao Pedro.

La Nazionale have failed to win their World Cup qualification group. Therefore, they are forced to qualify for Qatar 2020 through the play-offs.

Ciro Immobile missed Italy’s last two games with an injury, while Andrea Belotti wasn’t fully fit and played 58 minutes against Switzerland and 25 against Northern Ireland.

Both strikers have failed to score consistently with their country, so Mancini is considering alternative routes for the play-offs in March.

According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Cagliari star Joao Pedro is one of the options considered by Mancini.

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The Brazilian striker has never played with the Seleçao has an Italian passport. Therefore he is eligible to play with the Azzurri.

“I’ve spoken about it with an important person, Joao Pedro is Italian and he could play for the Azzurri,” Cagliari director Stefano Capozucca told Radiolina on Thursday.

Joao Pedro arrived in Italy in 2010 and got married to his Italian wife Alessandra in 2012, obtaining Italian citizenship in 2017.

According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, the FIGC is analysing all the paperwork to have final confirmation that Joao Pedro is eligible to play for Italy.

The 29-year-old has scored seven goals in 12 games this season. He netted 16 goals last term and 18 in 2019-20.

Joao Pedro has played with Brazil, but only at a youth level, scoring one goal in 11 appearances with the U17 squad. This could cause problems as it happened with Papu Gomez in 2007, when the Azzurri considered giving him a call-up.

Pisa striker Lorenzo Lucca could offer Mancini a different option.

This season the 21-year-old has scored six goals in 13 Serie B games, making his U21 debut in September.

He has two goals in four appearances with the Azzurrini.

According to Tuttosport, Juventus are interested in signing him and Mancini is considering including him in the squad that will try to book a place in the 2022 World Cup.