Sunderland outcast Emmanuele Giaccherini has earned a recall to the Italy squad for friendlies against Spain and Germany.
Giaccherini returned to his homeland to join Bologna on a season-long loan last summer and has impressed for the Serie A outfit.
The 30-year-old has caught the eye sufficiently to be recalled by Italy boss Antonio Conte, who is expected to take charge at Chelsea next season and has been linked with taking the Sunderland man to Stamford Bridge.
"I am very happy for the call and now I am thinking of the next two games with Spain and Germany," said Giaccherini.
Another contracted Sunderland player out on loan, Steven Fletcher, has been speaking with the Scottish press about his move to Marseille and some of the controversy which has dogged him off-the-pitch.
Fletcher came in for criticism last season when a picture circulated on Twitter of the striker posing next to his new Lamborghini.
But he said today: “We all make mistakes. But I don’t regret buying my car. The fans gave me dog’s abuse for that picture, of course they did.
“The guy I bought it through asked me if he could have a picture of me standing next to the car. I said, ‘yeah’. Two weeks later, it fell into someone else’s hands and they tweeted it."
Both Fletcher and Giaccherini are away on international duty, but Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce has criticised yet another break from Premier League action, with the Black Cats facing another two weeks without a game.
“We had to wait two weeks for the Newcastle game when we didn’t want to," said Allardyce.
“And now we’ve got to wait another two weeks, with international players going away, when there’s a chance they’ll get injured."