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Zenit terminate Mancini's contract amid Italy interest

Zenit terminate Mancini's contract amid Italy interest

Former Inter Milan and Manchester City coach Roberto Mancini was given the daunting task of rebuilding Italy's national side on Monday following their astonishing failure to qualify for the World Cup.

The move comes one day after Mancini agreed to terminate his contract as manager of Zenit St Petersburg, which paved the way for him to negotiate his Italy deal.

He replaces Gian Piero Ventura, who was sacked in November after they failed to qualify for the World Cup.

Mancini will be officially presented to the media on Tuesday.

Meanwhile NAIJ.com had earlier reported that Chelsea coach Antonio Conte was favourite to become the next national team coach.

"It went the way we wanted, we are happy and Roberto is happy", FIGC commissioner Roberto Fabbricini told reporters the lawyer's office in Rome where Mancini signed.

The Azzurri have friendlies coming up against both France and the Netherlands in June for Mancini to begin tinkering with his squad.

Mario Balotelli could likely make a return to the national team following Mancini's appointment after he was omitted against England and Argentina in April.

His Zenit team finished the Russian Premier League in fifth after beating relegated SKA Khabarovsk 6-0 on Sunday.

Roberto Mancini looks set to be the next Italy manager. Balotelli has not been called up by Italy since the 2014 World Cup.

During his 17-year coaching career Mancini led City to their first English league title in 44 years in 2012, and won three Serie A titles with Inter Milan.

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