Published: Tue, May 15, 2018
Sports | By Jonathan Ford

Zenit St Petersburg coach Roberto Mancini quits amid Italy head coach rumours

Zenit St Petersburg coach Roberto Mancini quits amid Italy head coach rumours

"The club wish Roberto Mancini all the best with his future endeavours and thank him for his time in St Petersburg".

Mancini has spent the previous year with Zenit after concluding his second spell at Inter in 2016, but he left his post on Sunday after managing only a fifth-place finish in the Russian Premier League.

This month, Italian soccer federation commissioner Roberto Fabbricini said Mancini had held talks with Italian soccer officials but that no deal had been reached.

The departure means Mancini, who was appointed Zenit's head coach this season, becomes the top contender to coach Italy, which is rebuilding after failing to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, reports Efe.

Mancini's 45th and last game in charge of Zenit, who are fifth heading into the final round of the Russian Premier League season, will be Sunday's home match with SKA Khabarovsk.

However, admirers will remember more fondly his 2012 Premier League triumph with Manchester City-at the time their first top-flight title in 44 years-as well as winning three Serie A crowns with Inter between 2006 and 2008.

Since leaving Etihad Stadium in 2013, Mancini also managed Galatasaray and Inter Milan before joining Zenit in June 2017.

The Italy squad will convene on May 22 ahead of friendlies against Saudi Arabia (May 28), France (June 1) and the Netherlands (June 4).

Luigi di Biagio, the coach of Italy's Under-21s side, has been in caretaker charge of the national team.

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