Roberto Mancini is the front runner to take over as Italy coach following the resignation of Cesare Prandelli on Tuesday according to the Daily Telegraph.
The Iesi-born boss is currently without a club after parting ways with Turkish club Galatasaray at the end of the season, but he is arguably the most renowned Italian manager in world football following successful spells with Manchester City and Inter Milan.
Prandelli quit in the immediate aftermath of his side’s 1-0 defeat to Uruguay, in a game that was largely overshadowed by an incident that saw Luis Suarez bite Giorgio Chiellini.
Italy have certainly been left with a bitter taste in the mouth after the defeat saw them crash out of the World Cup.
Gli Azzurri will be particularly disappointed with their exit, having been drawn in a group that, realistically, should have seen them ease through. Not only did it contain England, but underdogs Costa Rica made Italy look worryingly ordinary.
The 2006 champions have plenty of work to do to retain their status as world-beaters, and whoever takes charge will now have to do it without veteran stars Gianluigi Buffon and Andrea Pirlo, who will not be at the next World Cup.
Brazil 2014 is the second time in succession they have failed to get out of their group.
Prandelli immediately took responsibility for their failings this time around, blaming their defeat on his decision to play striker Mario Balotelli, who was unimpressive for the second game in a row.
Nonetheless, there are far more deep-seated in their squad. Giancarlo Abete, who was President of the Italian Federation, has also quit his post. In contrast with their English counterparts the consequences of their shortcomings are being felt briskly and resoundingly.
The Federation initially urged Prandelli to rethink his decision, but since he could evidently not be talked out of it, Italy now have a golden opportunity to reshape the national side.
Mancini represents the ideal man to undertake that task, and has a wealth of experience. The highlight of his career came at Inter, where he guided the San Siro outfit to three Serie A titles in a row, as well as two successive Coppa Italias.
He was later appointed at Manchester City to convert the club’s vast finances into trophies. An unforgettable Premier League final day in 2012 saw him deliver that success, but it was not enough to satisfy owner Sheikh Mansour’s thirst, and he was sacked exactly a year on.
Although he didn’t win the league with Galatasaray, they did win the Turkish Cup earlier this year.
Searching for a new manager was not an outcome of the World Cup that Italy would have anticipated. It was only recently that Prandelli had signed a contract extension to keep him in charge until at least Euro 2016.
Mancini had also been linked with a move to Southampton to replace Mauricio Pochettino, who swapped St Mary’s for Tottenham, but that post has now been filled by Dutchman Ronald Koeman.
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