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Bologna's Simone Verdi returns to Italy squad for qualifiers

Simone Verdi is back in the Italy squad for next week's qualifiers.

There were no surprises in the 25-man Italy squad announced on Saturday for their final World Cup qualifiers against Macedonia and Albania.

Bologna winger Simone Verdi received a second call-up, after making his debut in March a friendly against Netherlands.

There was still no space for Nice forward Mario Balotelli despite him scoring five goals in his past five matches for the French club.

Italy host Macedonia in Turin on Friday before travelling to Tirana for their final World Cup qualifier against...

 By PA Sport

Striker Rodrigo Palacio joins Bologna following exit from Inter

Rodrigo Palacio will stay in Italy with Bologna.

Argentine striker Rodrigo Palacio has opted to prolong his time in Serie A by joining Bologna following his Inter Milan exit, the Rossoblu have announced.

After five seasons with Inter, Palacio departed San Siro at the end of his contract in June.

The former Boca Juniors man will now attempt to revive Bologna's fortunes after a 15th-placed finish last term.

The 35-year-old will wear the No. 24 shirt after scoring 58 goals in all competitions for Inter.

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Bologna and Benevento crash out of Coppa Italia at first hurdle

Cagliari celebrate after beating Palermo on penalties.

Serie A clubs Bologna and Benevento both crashed out of the Coppa Italia with lopsided defeats to second-tier opponents on Saturday night.

Alberto Cerri scored a hat trick to lift Perugia to a 4-0 win at newly promoted Benevento, who played the second half with 10 men after Danilo Cataldi was sent off.

Cittadella scored all of their goals in the first half in a 3-0 romp to oust Bologna and advance to the fourth round.

Fabrizio Cacciatore scored in the 95th minute to help Chievo escape Ascoli 2-1,...