Roberto Mancini has reportedly agreed a two-year deal to become the new Italy manager as the IFF prepare to appoint a permanent boss for the first time since their failure to qualify for the World Cup.
Gian Piero Ventura was sacked last November after Italy lost a play-off tie against Sweden, a result which meant that the 2018 World Cup will be the first since 1958 not to feature the Azzurri.
Italy under-21 manager Luigi Di Biagio took charge of the side for their two friendly matches last month, including a 1-1 draw against England at Wembley, but he is not believed to be a contender for the permanent role.
Corriere Dello Sport (via the Sun) claims that Mancini met with Italian chief Alessandro Costacurta to agree a contract which will see the former Manchester City boss take charge before Italy’s friendly against Saudi Arabia on 28th May.
It is believed that Carlo Ancelotti was the IFF’s first choice to take over, but he turned down the offer as he wishes to remain in club management.
Speaking to RAI state radio on Monday night, Mancini denied that there had been any negotiations with the IFF, but implied that he would be tempted if an offer of employment were made.
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“There has not been contact with the [Italian football] federation but, for a coach, the Italian national team would be a source of honour and prestige,” said Mancini.
Mancini is currently the manager of Russian club Zenit St Petersburg, where he took charge last summer. However, with Zenit currently sitting 4th and in danger of missing out on the Champions League, he may be wise to jump ship now before he is pushed.
As a player he featured 36 times for Italy at senior level, scoring four times.