Conte keeping tabs on Pelle

Southampton striker Graziano Pelle is being monitored by Italy, coach Antonio Conte has revealed.

Pelle was prolific at Feyenoord before following coach Ronald Koeman to Southampton for a reported £9million in the close-season.

And the 29-year-old forward has made a superb start to life in England, scoring four goals in his first six matches.

That is form that has excited Conte, who insists he will pick his side on form – and not reputation.

"On top of scoring 50 goals in 57 games in Holland, Pelle is now also scoring in England," Conte told Corriere dello Sport.

"We are watching him, as we are with others.

"I want a squad of 25-30 players based on meritocracy. I am not interested if your name is x or y, as I want 30 people who think 'we are the Nazionale'.

"If a player is talented, you play him."