Roberto Mancini Open To Coaching Role With Italy

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Roberto Mancini has refused to rule out the prospect of becoming the next Italy boss.

Gian Piero Ventura was sacked in November after the Azzurri suffered a play-off defeat to Sweden, failing to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1958.

A successor is yet to be appointed after Italian Football Federation (FIGC) president Carlo Tavecchio stepped down.

Mancini is currently in charge of Zenit and, while the ex-Inter and Manchester City boss maintains he is happy working in Russia, he was unwilling to take himself out of the running should his country come calling.

"Before choosing the coach, it seems to me that we have to choose a the new FIGC president, " the 53-year-old told Mediaset.

"But I absolutely do not exclude coaching Italy. I think like other coaches – you can never exclude anything."

Mancini added: "My experience in Russia is going. We started well, then had a difficult spell and we'll restart the league in second place. We hope to make up ground on Lokomotiv."

After 20 games and with the competition currently on a mid-season break, Zenit are eight points shy of Lokomotiv Moscow at the top of the Russian Premier League.

Mancini's men will face Scottish champions Celtic in the Europa League round of 32 next month.