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Italy interim job offered to Luigi Di Biagio

Rome (AFP) – Italy’s under-21 coach Luigi Di Biagio has been asked to take temporary charge of the senior team until a full-time replacement is found, the Italian federation said on Friday.

Without a coach since their shock World Cup qualifying elimination in November, Italy take on both England and Argentina in friendlies in March.

“In the interim, Luigi Di Biagio will take over as national team coach, if he wants to,” Italian federation official Alessandro Costacurta told reporters on Friday.

“For the moment Gigi can consider himself coach of the Under-21’s and the interim boss of the senior side too,” said Costacurta, a former Italy international who won five Champions League titles and played 663 times for AC Milan.

“The most important things are the next matches and finding a new coach.”

Italy lost to Sweden in the World Cup play-offs in November after which Gian Piero Ventura left the post, as the nation’s fans went into mourning.

Di Biagio is an outsider amongst a star line-up of names being linked with the job including Roberto Mancini, Antonio Conte, Claudio Ranieri and Carlo Ancelotti.

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