Appiah hoping Balotelli joins Ghana

Ghana captain Stephen Appiah has welcomed speculation that national coach Milovan Rajevac is planning to call Inter Milan striker Mario Balotelli – reportedly wanted by Chelsea and Arsenal - into his squad for next summer’s World Cup.

Balotelli was born in the Italian city of Palermo, but would be eligible to play for the African nation through his Ghanaian parentage.

Appiah was unable to confirm whether the rumours were true, but stated that the 19-year-old would be a great addition to the national side, if he could be persuaded to switch allegiances from Italy, for whom he has already played at U21 level.

“I am very much in favour of it,” Appiah told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“Although I do have to say that I don’t know anything about this. And I am not aware that our manager Rajevac is set to travel to Bologna to speak about it with me, nor that I am supposed to take him to Milan to persuade Mario.

"I have come to know about it in the press and I have no basis to confirm the news.”

Former Spurs and West Ham target Appiah believes that Balotelli could provide a real boost to the Black Stars' World Cup chances.

“Ghana are already strong, but they would be even more with Mario. We want to do well in South Africa and why should we throw away the chance to have a player like Balotelli with us?” the 28-year-old said.

“We would be happy if Balotelli came in to give us a hand. He has already proved his worth around Europe and has developed an important experience despite his young age.”