Aussie young gun rejects Socceroos

Socceroos coach Graham Arnold has revealed that Cristian Volpato has rejected selection in Australia’s squad to instead play for Italy’s under-20 team next month.

Arnold’s quest to entice the Sydney-born, Italy-based Volpato to pledge his allegiance to Australia hit another hurdle when the Sassuolo attacking midfielder turned down the chance to play or the Socceroos against Bangladesh and Palestine next month.

“I’ve been in touch with a Christian and his mother, and the kid has chosen to play for Italy in this camp in under 20s in a tournament,” Arnold said on Wednesday after his announcing is latest 25-man squad.

“I’m always in contact and I’m encouraging him to play for Australia, but at the same time the kid has to want to, and his mum and his dad have to want that as well.

“The last conversations I had with him, which was not that long ago when I suggested (about picking him) for this camp and this (international) window, it was more based around that he wanted to play for Italy in the under 20s.”

aussie young gun rejects socceroos

Volpato still remains eligible to represent Australia at senior level.

“It’s not like if he plays for other junior national teams that can’t play for Australia or the Socceroos, but kid at this moment has chosen that,” said Arnold, who added that Volpato had a “lot to think about” following Sassuolo’s relegation to the Italian second division.

While Volpato remains uncommitted to playing for Australia, fellow Italy-based player Alessandro Circati is set to add to his maiden Socceroos cap next month after being recalled to Australia’s squad.

“He played against New Zealand (in October last year) and his maturity for a young boy is outstanding,” Arnold said of the 20-year-old defender, whose club side Parma has been promoted to Italy’s top-flight.

“He’s obviously got the quality and you will see him play in either one or two of these games (against Bangladesh and Palestine).

“It’s important that he gets to know us well, but he’s fit in perfectly into the Socceroos when he’s been in camp. He’s done very well for us, and ... him getting promoted to (Italy’s) Serie A, he’s going to play against some of the best strikers in the world, and we’re going to benefit from it.”

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