'I have to stay out of trouble and focus' - Cassano

Antonio Cassano has promised to behave at Sampdoria but furiously denied he has asked Mario Balotelli to join him in Genoa.

Antonio Cassano claimed he has promised Sampdoria president Massimo Ferrero that he will behave himself to earn a contract at the Genoa-based club.

Cassano signed a two-year deal with Sampdoria in August, ending a seven-month stint without a club after terminating his contract with Parma in January due to unpaid wages.

But the controversial attacker conceded he had to make a commitment to avoid the kind of negative headlines that have plagued his career, before Sampdoria agreed to sign him.

Although Cassano could not resist blaming the likes of former Sampdoria coaches Sinisa Mihajlovic and Delio Rossi for denying him a transfer to the Stadio Luigi Ferraris over the past few years.

"Thank you a thousand times to the president and everyone else who worked so hard to bring me back," Cassano said, according to Gazzetta World.

"During each transfer session I tried to return; but it is normal that some coaches are not keen on some players.

"When I called [coach Walter] Zenga, he immediately understood my motivation and that was all it took.

"I do not want to come here and cause controversy where there is none however, I have to stay out of trouble and focus. That is what I promised Ferrero."

Cassano added: "I can be a symbol and a leader, like [Angelo] Palombo who has been here a long time."

The 33-year-old versatile forward returns to Sampdoria having previously played with the Serie A club from 2007-2011.

With Sampdoria starting their league campaign against Carpi on Sunday, Cassano admitted he may not be ready to start.

"On a physical level I am a little behind the others, but I am ready to fight for Sampdoria's cause. I am ready in my head but I still need to lose a bit of weight," he said.

Cassano also argued he has the quality to prove himself worthy of an Italy recall, while he slammed suggestions he had contacted Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli in an effort to lure the 25-year-old to Sampdoria.

"Some of you [journalists] write stupid things sometimes," he said.

"I never contacted Balotelli; I am not a sporting director.

"With [Luis] Muriel and Eder, for whom I have a lot of respect, why would I call another player?"