World Cup

Carlo Ancelotti emerges as favourite to restore Italy's pride

The Italian Football Federation is expected to sack Gian Piero Ventura after the Azzurri's failure to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1958.

Carlo Ancelotti emerges as favourite to restore Italy's pride

Italy will attempt to sweep aside the bitter disappointment of failing to qualify for the World Cup in Russia and the first step is widely expected to be dispensing with the services of Gian Piero Ventura. According to La Gazzetta dello Sport the Italy boss is expected to be sacked later on Tuesday or Wednesday despite the president of the Italian Football Federation (FIGC), Carlo Tavecchio, declining to make any comment after Sweden dumped the Azzurri out of the playoffs.

In the wake of Italy’s failure to reach the finals La Gazzetta ran a poll on the potential successor to Ventura, which Carlo Ancelotti won at a canter with almost 70 percent of the vote. Ancelotti is available after leaving Bayern Munich earlier in the season but has never managed at international level and will doubtless have no shortage of suitors.

Ancelotti tops Gazzetta poll

The other candidates for the post are Antonio Conte, Ventura’s predecessor in the job, Massimiliano Allegri and Roberto Mancini, none of whom are currently without employment.

Conte is rumoured to be unsettled at Chelsea and may be open to a return to the international fold while Allegri, the Juventus coach, may be persuaded after years of club management.

Mancini was not a popular choice in the Gazzetta poll and is currently in charge of Zenit Saint Petersburg.

Di Biagio also in the frame

The Italian daily also suggested that the current Italy under-21 boss, Luigi di Biagio, may be handed the senior job until the end of the season while the FIGC waits for another candidate to become available.

Italy have two friendlies scheduled for next March, against Argentina and England.