Porto defender Alex Telles open to representing Italy instead of Brazil

Porto's Brazilian defender Alex Telles says he would welcome a call from Italy coach Giampiero Ventura, with family ties meaning he is eligible to represent the Azzurri.

Telles, 23, joined Porto in the summer after spending last season on loan at Inter Milan and he is hoping his performances for the Portuguese club can help him catch Ventura's eye.

"I may be Brazilian, but my great grandparents are Italian and I feel Italian," he told Gazzetta dello Sport. "I just have to think about doing a good job at Porto and if I do well here, then maybe something will happen."

Telles has secured a regular berth in the Porto team this season following his arrival, missing just one game due to suspension.

"I'm settling in well," he said. "The club transmits a winning philosophy and you can see why they had so many great players here. I think we can [win the league], but to do that we've got to keep focused in every game right to the very end of the season."

That was not the case at Inter, with Telles giving his opinion on how and why things fell apart in the second half of last season after the club had done well early on in the campaign.

"There was a mental blackout," he said. "In Serie A, you need to keep your concentration all the time and if a teammate loses his concentration, then the whole team suffers. It comes hard even to do the most simplest of things.

"We were working well at the Pinetina [training centre], but the games were another thing. We lost our concentration and our rhythm. I really think we were not ready to cope with having to keep our concentration levels high for the whole season."