May 1, 2018 / 5:45 PM / 25 days ago

Soccer: Mancini willing to be next Italy manager but no deal yet-FIGC

ROME (Reuters) - Roberto Mancini is willing to become the next Italy manager but no deal has yet been reached and discussions with the Italian soccer federation (FIGC) will continue later this month, a federation official was quoted as saying on Tuesday.

Soccer Football - Europa League Round of 16 Second Leg - Zenit Saint Petersburg vs RB Leipzig - Stadium St. Petersburg, Saint Petersburg, Russia - March 15, 2018. Zenit St. Petersburg coach Roberto Mancini before the match. REUTERS/Anton Vaganov/Files

Italian news agency ANSA’s website quoted federation commissioner Roberto Fabbricini saying Mancini, currently manager of Russian club Zenit Saint Petersburg, had held talks with Italian soccer officials on Monday.

“Nothing has been decided,” Fabbricini said. “He said he is willing. We will discuss the details after May 13.”

Ex-Manchester City and Inter Milan coach Mancini told Italian officials he was prepared to leave Zenit but the details will be discussed after the Russian championship finishes.

Zenit are fourth in the standings, seven points behind the leaders Lokomotiv Moscow with two games remaining, and could still qualify for next season’s Champions League.

Fabbricini told ANSA that the federation had a budget for the salary of the national team manager that could not be changed. He gave no further details.

Italian media reported on Sunday that former AC Milan and Bayern Munich manager Carlo Ancelotti had turned down an offer, leaving Mancini as favourite for the Italy job.

Italy, currently at an all-time low of 20th in the FIFA world rankings, have been without a permanent coach since November when Gian Piero Ventura was sacked following their failure to qualify for this year’s World Cup in Russia.

Luigi Di Biagio took charge of the team for their friendlies against Argentina and England in March on an interim basis.

Reporting by Philip Pullella; Editing by Ken Ferris

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