Tuesday January 9 2018
Mancini: ‘Italy? Won’t rule it out…’

Zenit St Petersburg Coach Roberto Mancini replies “I won’t rule it out” when asked if he could take over as Italy CT.

Giampiero Ventura was sacked after the Azzurri failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, and so far no replacement has been appointed.

Part of the reason for that is that the FIGC has no President after Carlo Tavecchio stepped down, but Mancio isn’t ruling himself out of contention.

“It seems to me that a President of the Federation should be chosen before the CT,” Mancini told Tiki Taka.

“I won’t rule it out though, I think it’s the same for other Coaches. The national team is very important and when you’re a Coach you can’t rule anything out.

“My experience in Russia is going well, now we’re resting. We started well, then we had a difficult spell and we’ll restart the league in second place.

“We hope to make up ground on Lokomotiv.

“The World Cup? Our stadium is beautiful, but there are other beautiful stadiums here too. The organisation of the World Cup will be perfect.”

Mancini was also asked about the Scudetto race, and whether it’s now down to just Napoli and Juventus.

“I think so, yes. I thought that Roma and Inter could fight for it, and they could still come back because it’s a long season, but right now the favourites are Juventus and Napoli.

“Napoli have been a good team for several years and this season they’re only confirming what they’ve done for the past few years.

“Juventus have the advantage because they’re stronger and are more used to winning, but the Azzurri play better and hopefully after six Scudetti the Bianconeri will let up a bit.

“I think Inter are missing a winger with characteristics different to those of [Ivan] Perisic and [Antonio] Candreva, which can help Icardi score goals. That’s what Inter lack compared to the other teams.

“Could Domenico Criscito join them? I don’t think he’ll leave in January, but you never know what will happen.

“He’s a great lad, he’s having a really good season and I don’t think he’s considering leaving.”

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