‘Surprise names’ in line for Italy coaching job


Florence (Italy) (AFP) – Italian football federation commissioner Roberto Fabbricini said Saturday to expect “some surprise names” to emerge for the vacant job of Italy coach.

“No one is now in pole position, some surprise names could emerge. We are not ruling anyone out,” Fabbricini said at the Italian national team’s training camp at Coverciano in Florence.

“It’s not right to name anyone today, we haven’t had serious contacts yet,” Fabbricini continued. 

“We certainly saw many are interested. The nomination of a new coach will be made in due course, as we don’t want to be hasty. It’s important to get it right.”

Former Italy head coach Antonio Conte, now coaching Chelsea, Carlo Ancelotti, sacked by Bayern Munich last September, Zenit Saint Petersburg boss Roberto Mancini and Nantes manager Claudio Ranieri, who led Leicester to an unlikely English Premier League title, are also among those linked to the coaching job.

Italy’s 1-0 aggregate play-off defeat to Sweden last year meant the Azzurri failed to reach the World Cup for the first time since 1958.

Under-21 boss Luigi Di Biagio has been appointed interim coach to oversee friendlies against Argentina and England next month.

Italy will also play a friendly against the Netherlands on June 4 at the Juventus Stadium.

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