Chelsea manager Antonio Conte is the preferred candidate to take over as Italy coach, according to Italian federation vice-commissioner Alessandro Costacurta.
Antonio Conte, whose future at Chelsea remains uncertain, has one more season remaining on his three-year contract at Stamford Bridge. Upon leading Chelsea to the title last season, Conte signed a new deal but was only given a pay rise, not an extension.
Former AC Milan defender Costacurta, who is leading the search for the next Italy coach, intends to speak with Conte before the end of the season about the role.
“I haven’t chosen yet but I think Conte is the one who could do the best. I’ll definitely talk with him in a couple of months,” Costacurta told Gazzetta dello Sport.
Costacurta said of Conte: “He’s already shown he knows how to be national team coach while the others haven’t yet.
“That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t be happy with Mancini or with Ancelotti, although (Ancelotti) seems to have removed himself from consideration.”
Gian Piero Ventura was fired in November after failing to qualify four-time champion Italy for the World Cup. Luigi Di Biagio was promoted from the under-21 squad as an interim replacement.