The head of the Italian Football Federation has claimed that under-fire Chelsea manager Antonio Conte is keen to return to managing the Italy national team.
“Mancini was in Rome but we didn’t contact him, Conte seems eager to wear Azzurro again, Ancelotti opens and closes the door and Ranieri isn’t out either,” FIGC commissioner Roberto Fabbriini told reporters earlier this week.
“There’s no-one in pole position, we have to evaluate the pros and cons. We also have to evaluate the availability of the Federation, and explain to those who will come after us that there will be new governance.”
Azzurri looking to bounce back from record low
The four-time World Cup winners hit an all-time low during 2017 as they failed to qualify for Russia 2018 after losing a two-legged playoff against Sweden; this marks the first time that the country won’t be participating in the showpiece international contest since 1958.
FIGC have yet to find a successor to Gian Piero Ventura, who was the man that led the Italians to qualification failure.
The Italian quartet of Conte, former Bayern Munich boss Carlo Ancelotti, Zenit St Petersburg coach Roberto Mancini and Nantes boss Claudio Ranieri have been all linked with the job.
Conte previously managed Italy between 2014 and 16 and led the nation to the quarterfinals of Euro 2016 before he joined Chelsea, with whom he won the Premier League title last season.
Unlikely Conte will be managing Chelsea next season
The 48-year-old is under pressure at Stamford Bridge given Chelsea’s recent woeful run of form and it looks increasingly likely that he will end up parting ways with the club come the end of the season.
He is reportedly also unhappy at the side’s transfer strategy and based on past evidence, it is also apparent that owner Roman Abramovich does not have patience with managers who fail to win trophies in a season – which could well happen to Chelsea this term.