27 Jun 2014

Mancini early favourite to be next Italy coach

11:40 am on 27 June 2014

The former Inter Milan and Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has emerged as the early favourite to be the next Italy football coach after Cesare Prandelli resigned following the Azzurri's World Cup exit.

Italy's 1-0 defeat by Uruguay sent them out of the tournament following a loss to Costa Rica and a win over England in Group D and Prandelli said he took responsibility for the failure.

Influential daily newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport cited Mancini as the most likely to be offered the job along with former AC Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri.

Mancini is available after leaving Turkish club Galatasaray this month and he has the backing of Sampdoria coach Sinisa Mihajlovic.

Mancini, who won the Premier League with City and Serie A with Inter, might have to take a lower salary than in club football and that could be a sticking point.

But he does have experience of working with Italy striker Mario Balotelli at City and he could be seen as someone who could get the most out of the unpredictable and inconsistent forward, who had a poor World Cup.

The other names in the frame include former Udinese and Roma coach Luciano Spalletti who was sacked by Russian club Zenit St. Petersburg in March and Alberto Zaccheroni, the ex-Milan coach, whose Japan team were eliminated at the group stage on Tuesday.