- Associated Press - Friday, February 2, 2018

ROME (AP) - The Italian soccer federation talked to Roberto Mancini on Friday about the possibility of becoming the next coach of the national team and also plans to approach Chelsea coach Antonio Conte about a possible return.

The 53-year-old Mancini, who has coached Manchester City and Inter Milan, is among several candidates for the role - along with Conte, Carlo Ancelotti and Claudio Ranieri.

Roberto Fabbricini, the federation’s new emergency leader, said that vice-commissioner Alessandro ‘Billy’ Costacurta, a former Italy and AC Milan defender, has already started talking to potential candidates to replace the fired Gian Piero Ventura.

“I talked to Billy last night,” Fabbricini said. “I can tell you that today he has already begun with the first phone calls, also profiting from the fact that Mancini is in Rome so we were able to speak to him already last night.”

The Italian Olympic Committee (CONI), which oversees all sports in Italy, named its secretary general as emergency leader on Thursday and appointed Costacurta and Angelo Clarizia as vice-commissioners

Already in crisis following Italy’s failure to qualify for the World Cup, the emergency measures were imposed on the FIGC after four failed votes to elect a new president on Monday.

The election was called after Carlo Tavecchio resigned in November following Italy’s playoff loss to Sweden which kept the four-time champion out of the World Cup for the first time in six decades.

It also meant the end for coach Ventura, who was fired two days after the defeat.

Mancini won three straight Serie A titles with Inter and led City to the Premier League championship in 2012. He’s also won the FA Cup with City, the Turkish Cup with Galatasaray and the Italian Cup four times while in charge of Inter, Lazio and Fiorentina.

Conte led Juventus to three successive titles before leaving in 2014 to take charge of Italy, where he surpassed expectations by taking them to the semifinals of the 2016 European Championship.

He steered Chelsea to the Premier League title last season but has been under pressure this campaign, with the Blues currently 18 points behind leaders Manchester City

Conte was mentioned as one of the coaches Costacurta wanted to talk to about the Italy job, but the 48-year-old said he has no desire to break his contract.

“I can tell (you) that Costacurta is a friend and we played together in the national team in 1994 (World Cup), but maybe he forgot that I still have 18 months on my contract with Chelsea,” Conte said.

“My intention, my will, my desire is to respect this contract.”

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