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 By PA Sport

Gianluigi Buffon returns to Italy squad but Mario Balotelli left out

Juventus's goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon believes Harry Kane is among the top-three players in the world after drawing comparisons between Tottenham striker and Fiorentina icon Gabriel Batistuta.

Gianluigi Buffon has cut short his retirement from international football and could face England at Wembley after being called up by Italy on Saturday.

The veteran Juventus goalkeeper called an end to his Azzurri career after Italy failed to qualify for the World Cup, but he has chosen to return.

Buffon, 40, has been capped 175 times by Italy and could add to that tally in the friendlies against Argentina on March 23 in Manchester and against England in London four days later.

Italy caretaker boss Luigi Di Biagio handed first senior calls to two forwards, AC Milan's Patrick Cutrone and Fiorentina's Federico Chiesa, the son of former international striker Enrico Chiesa.

There is no place for Nice striker Mario Balotelli, despite Di Biagio watching him in action recently. Balotelli has scored 22 goals in 30 matches in all competitions for Nice this season. Still, the temperamental forward hasn't played for Italy since the 2014 World Cup.

And, with Giorgio Chiellini forced off through injury in Juventus' goalless draw against SPAL on Saturday, West Ham defender Angelo Ogbonna has been called up as cover.

The Italy squad will assemble on Sunday in Coverciano and travel to England on Thursday afternoon.

Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Gianluigi Donnarumma (AC Milan), Mattia Perin (Genoa)

Defenders: Leonardo Bonucci (AC Milan), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Matteo Darmian (Manchester United), Mattia De Sciglio (Juventus), Gian Marco Ferrari (Sampdoria), Alessandro Florenzi (Roma), Daniele Rugani (Juventus), Leonardo Spinazzola (Atalanta), Davide Zappacosta (Chelsea)

Midfielders: Giacomo Bonaventura (AC Milan), Bryan Cristante (Atalanta), Roberto Gagliardini (Inter Milan), Jorginho (Napoli), Marco Parolo (Lazio), Lorenzo Pellegrini (Roma), Marco Verratti (Paris Saint-Germain)

Forwards: Andrea Belotti (Torino), Antonio Candreva (Inter Milan), Patrick Cutrone (AC Milan), Federico Chiesa (Fiorentina), Ciro Immobile (Lazio), Lorenzo Insigne (Napoli), Simone Verdi (Bologna)

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