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The coach has his eyes on succeeding Cesare Prandelli with the national side and reveals that he would build the team around the striker, Ciro Immobile and Marco Verratti

After revealing his desire to be Italy coach, Roberto Mancini says that he "loves" Mario Balotelli but admits that the striker must "grow up".

Mancini left his post at Galatasaray at the end of the season after guiding the club to second place in his sole campaign at the helm of the Super Lig giants.

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Despite signing a two-year contract extension ahead of the World Cup, Italy's first-round exit prompted Cesare Prandelli to depart as national-team boss and he has since taken up the role vacated by Mancini in Istanbul.

That move has paved the way for Mancini to potentially take over as Italy coach and the former Manchester City and Inter boss would be humbled to be offered the job.

"Italy would be an honour for me," he told Corriere dello Sport. "No-one called me but I would be proud. [The Italian Football Association] need serious and competent men."

Of criticism of the squad that went to Brazil, Mancini remarked: "The national team were too old? The age does not matter.

"I love Balotelli but he must grow up. With [Marco] Verratti and [Ciro] Immobile, the team can be reconstructed."

Mancini worked with Balotelli at both Inter and City but, on both occasions, the pair became embroiled in heated disputes over the forward's disciplinary issues.

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