Marco Giampaolo will become only the seventh Italian coach to work in Turkey if he is named Fenerbahce’s next boss.
Giampaolo was sacked by Milan earlier last October, and the Serie A policy limiting coaches to one club per season has prevented him from returning to an Italian bench in 2019-20.
Now, reports in Turkey and Italy claim Fener want the unemployed 52-year-old to fill their managerial vacancy.
The Istanbul side have been owned by Turkey’s richest family since 2018 and are one of the country’s most famous football institutions, with a record 28 league titles to their name.
However, they have gone six years without a Super Lig crown and remain mired in deep financial woe after years of Financial Fair Play abuse.
Fatih Terim leads the way for Turks working in Italian football after a successful spell coaching Fiorentina in 00-01, but how about vice versa?
Curiously, the first Italian to coach a Turkish club is Giuseppe Meazza. Arguably Calcio’s most iconic figure, Meazza managed Besiktas to a second-place finish in 1948-49.
He was followed by Sandro Puppo, a member of Italy’s 1936-winning Olympic football team.
Puppo coached the likes of Barcelona and Juventus before moving to Besiktas in 1960 and ultimately becoming Turkey’s CT.
The most successful of all has been Roberto Mancini. The Italy CT coached Galatasaray during the 13-14 campaign, guiding them to Turkish Cup glory.
Nevio Scala, Walter Zenga and Cesare Prandelli, on the other hand, failed to see out their respective seasons with Besiktas, Gaziantepspor and Galatasaray.
Prandelli’s tenure was particularly poor. He lasted just 16 games as Mancini’s replacement, in his first role since leaving Italy.