Italy boss Giampiero Ventura to drop Graziano Pelle over handshake incident

Shandong Luneng striker Graziano Pelle will not be considered for the next Italy squad after having "tainted" the image of the national team last month, Azzurri coach Giampiero Ventura has said.

Pelle, 31, refused to shake Ventura's hand after being substituted in the 1-1 draw with Spain and he was subsequently sent home ahead of the trip to Macedonia.

"Pelle has tainted the image of a group which had brought some pride back everywhere," Ventura told RAI television. "He's not going to be part of the squad I name on Sunday. I've given him a period of reflection."

Ventura would not go as far as to say the former Southampton striker's exclusion will be permanent.

"He's no longer a youngster, but there is no preclusions to anybody," added Ventura.

Ventura has also previously said he will not close the door on a return to Mario Balotelli, who is back on form with Ligue 1 leaders Nice.

However, he said: "He's played some good games, but his problem is not that. It's all the rest."