Pirlo would welcome Balotelli

The veteran midfielder says the striker would be welcome at Juve

Mario Balotelli: Rumours linking the controversial striker away from Manchester City persist despite being denied by his agent

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Andrea Pirlo admits he would roll out the red carpet for Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli if he wanted to join him at Juventus.

The pair are currently taking a well-earned break after leading Italy to the Euro 2012 final where they came up short against a brilliant Spanish side before rejoining their clubs for pre-season training.

Balotelli has never been far from controversy during his time in England where he has become as well known for incidents and wild behaviour off the pitch as on it fuelling rumours of a return to his homeland.

But Pirlo laughed off claims that the young striker would cause unrest in the dressing room with his antics saying he would welcome him with open arms.

"Would I take Balotelli to Juventus? Of course I would take him.," Pirlo told Sky Sport Italia. "And I know how to talk to him.

"We both come from Brescia and when we are in the national team we speak in dialect.

"There was no problem with managing him in our dressing room, indeed he was very well behaved.

"I'd gladly take him in Turin. Mario is a guy who needs you to stay close to him."