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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 22 June 2018

Roberto Mancini reaches agreement to manage Italy, according to media report

Italian media says former Manchester City manager has agreed two-year deal worth €2 million per year to will be signed after end of Russian season which concludes next Sunday

Zenit St Petersburg manager Roberto Mancini will reportedly return to Italy to take over the national team's reins. Anton Vaganov / Reuters
Zenit St Petersburg manager Roberto Mancini will reportedly return to Italy to take over the national team's reins. Anton Vaganov / Reuters

Zenit St-Petersburg manager Roberto Mancini has reached agreement to become the next Italy head coach after accepting a pay cut to take the job, according to reports on Tuesday.

Gazzetta dello Sport reported that the 53-year-old Italian has agreed a two-year deal worth €2 million (Dh8.73m) a year which will be penned after the end of the Russian season which concludes next Sunday.

Zenit are fifth in the Russian Premier League, 10 points behind already-crowned champions Lokomotiv Moscow with one match left. The Russian club are reportedly reluctant to let Mancini leave and the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) does not want to pay any compensation to release him from his contract.

The former Italian international joined the Russian club last year on a three-year deal thought to be worth €4.5m a year. The annual budget for the future Italy manager and his backroom staff has been fixed at €5m.

Italy have been without a permanent manager since Gian Piero Ventura was dismissed after they failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time in 60 years after losing to Sweden in November.

Italy's Under 21 manager Luigi Di Biagio has been filling the position on an interim basis.

During his 17-year managerial career Mancini led Manchester City to their first English league title in 44 years in 2012, and won three Serie A titles with Inter Milan. He also won Italian Cups with Inter, Fiorentina and Lazio.

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Read more:

Ian Hawkey: Italy's World Cup 'Apocalypse' caused by decade-long decline and Ventura's ill-fated reign

Richard Jolly: Italy take first steps post-World Cup failure against Argentina but 'new era' yet to begin

Alessandro Costacurta thinks Antonio Conte 'is the one who could do the best' to manage Italy

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Meanwhile, Gazzetta also reported that Mancini wants to bring back Mario Balotelli into the national fold, and will ask goalkeeping hero Gianluigi Buffon to play against the Netherlands for a farewell appearance in Turin on June 4.

In-form Nice striker Balotelli, 27, has scored 13 goals in 33 appearances for Italy but has not been picked since the 2014 World Cup.

Former Bayern Munich manager Carlo Ancelotti turned down the opportunity to coach the four-time world champions saying he preferred to stay in club coaching.

"Mine was a choice, I want to coach a club," Ancelotti told Milan TV. "It was a difficult decision, but I have to listen to what I feel.

"Roberto Mancini is an excellent coach, he is motivated and has international experience. If the next coach was him, I think the national team would be in good hands."