Former Inter Milan and Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has reportedly agreed to takeover as Italy manager. According to Sky in Italy, the 53-year old has agreed for his new role after meeting Italian FA sub-commissioner Alessandro Costacurta and team director Gabriele Oriali at the Italian capital on Monday evening.
The former Italy international is currently the head coach of Russian Premier League side Zenit St Petersburg, and will reportedly be taking over his new job after the final round of fixtures (13th May). The Italian FA had previously set a deadline for the appointment of a new manager before 20th May 2018.
Italy have been managed by Italy U-21 manager Luigi Di Biagio as a caretaker since the sacking of Gian Piero Ventura. The 4-times World Champions failed to reach the FIFA World Cup finals for the first time in 60 long years this summer under Ventura.
Former 3-times UEFA Champions League winning coach Carlo Ancelotti was previously reported to have been offered the job to manage the European giants (according to the same source). The 58-year old has also long been linked to succeed Arsene Wenger at Arsenal at the end of the season.
Amongst others, former Italian skipper Paolo Maldini also reportedly expressed his desire for the position. Antonio Conte and Claudio Ranieri, Premier League winners with Chelsea FC and Leicester City FC respectively, were also said to be in the frame for the job previously.
Roberto Mancini had previously denied landing the Italian manager’s job when he talked to Italian Radio on Monday.
The former Sampdoria and Lazio forward (he won Serie A with both, as a player), has won league titles at Manchester City and Inter Milan. He has also lead ACF Fiorentina, SSC Lazio and Galatasaray to domestic cup titles during his brief tenures.
Zenit are currently 4th in the Russian Premier League with 50 points from 28 games and are 2 points away from UEFA Champions League qualification next year. It will be interesting to see how the North-West Russian team fares in the remaining two matches under their seemingly departing manager.
If Mancini indeed takes over the job in mid May, he’ll be managing the Italian National Team in three friendlies against Saudi Arabia on May 28th, France on June 1st and Holland on June 4th.
Photo by LaertesCTB