Zenit boss Roberto Mancini linked with Italy and Australia

by Jack Kitson / 10 January 2018, 15:21

Roberto Mancini’s future at Zenit St Petersburg has been hurled into doubt with the Italian linked to not one but two international vacancies.

Man City’s former Premier League title-winning boss has revealed that he’s tempted by the prospect of venturing into the international arena with Italy, who have been managerless since November when Giampiero Ventura was axed after the country’s shock failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

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The likes of Carlo Ancelotti, Luigi Di Biagio and Fabio Capello have all been linked with the Azzurri post, but it’s Mancini who now looks worth a punt at 11/2 (Paddy Power) after he said:

“To manage the Italian team I would first need to know who the new president of the Italian FA will be.

“But I wouldn’t exclude myself from it. You never say never in football.

(Quote: Mediaset)

But it’s also worth mentioning that the 53-year-old went on to say:

“However, I can only say I am happy in Russia at the moment and I am hoping to win the league this year with Zenit.”

Italy isn’t the only international job Mancini has his eye on. The scarf-loving gaffer is also rumoured to have expressed an interest in managing Australia in Russia this summer.

Back in November Ange Postecoglou led the Socceroos into their fourth straight World Cup, only to then emotionally announce his resignation.

It’s now been six weeks since Postecoglou stepped down from the post, yet Australia remain without a man at the helm.

FFA chief executive David Gallop said they are “open minded about whether the coach is Australian or someone from overseas” with Sydney FC boss Graham Arnold appearing to be the leading candidate at the time of writing, although Marcelo Bielsa, Jurgen Klinsmann, Sven-Goran Eriksson and now Mancini have all been linked.

The Italy and Australia rumours will no doubt persist but for the time being Mancini is preparing for a series of friendlies ahead of Zenit’s official return to action against Celtic in February (Europa League).

Meanwhile, the Russian Premier League is currently in hibernation for the winter break and doesn’t get back underway until March, with 2nd-placed Zenit eight points adrift of leaders Lokomotiv Moskva at the mid-season interval.

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