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Gagliardini left out of Italy squad to face Spain

Giampiero Ventura has named the Italy squad for World Cup qualifiers against Spain and Israel, with Roberto Gagliardini the main absentee.

Gagliardini has lost his place to Marco Parolo, while Napoli midfielder Jorginho continues to be overlooked and there is no place for Simone Zaza among the attacking options.

Having recovered from the groin issue that kept him out of the previous internationals Marco Verratti is welcomed back into the fold. However, Juventus midfielder Claudio Marchisio is unavailable, the 31-year-old having been ruled out for up to four weeks with a recurrence of his knee injury.

Goalkeeper Mattia Perin returns to the squad after proving his fitness following his recovery from a serious knee injury, the Genoa stopper providing backup to Gianluigi Buffon and Gianluigi Donnarumma.

Italy are level on points with Spain at the top of Group G, the two European giants seven clear at the summit of the section with four fixtures remaining.

The Azzurri travel to the Santiago Bernabeu to play Spain on September 2 before hosting Israel three days later at Sassuolo's Mapei Stadium.

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Italy squad:

Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Gianluigi Donnarumma (AC Milan), Mattia Perin (Genoa); Davide Astori (Fiorentina), Andrea Barzagli (Juventus), Leonardo Bonucci (AC Milan), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Andrea Conti (AC Milan), Danilo D'Ambrosio (Inter), Matteo Darmian (Manchester United), Daniele Rugani (Juventus), Leonardo Spinazzola (Atalanta); Federico Bernardeschi (Juventus), Antonio Candreva (Inter), Daniele De Rossi (Rome), Stephan El Shaarawy (Roma), Lorenzo Insigne (Napoli), Riccardo Montolivo (AC Milan), Marco Parolo (Lazio), Lorenzo Pellegrini (Rome), Marco Verratti (Paris Saint Germain); Andrea Belotti (Torino), Eder (Inter), Manolo Gabbiadini (Southampton), Ciro Immobile (Lazio).