Mancini commits to Azzuri, rules out return to club management

Italy boss Roberto Mancini insists he is not interested in returning to club football before his work with the Azzurri is complete.

Reports in Italy had claimed a number of Premier League clubs had contacted former Manchester City boss Mancini.

Mancini has also coached teams including Lazio, Inter, Galatasaray and Zenit, and he took on the Italy job in 2018 with the national team at a low ebb.

The team’s failure to qualify for that year’s World Cup left Mancini with a rebuilding job, and 10 out of 10 wins in qualifying for Euro 2020 suggested they were moving in the right direction.

Asked about reported interest in him, Mancini said on Sunday: “My goal is to do well in the European Championships and do well in the World Cup. It would be a regret to leave the national team to someone else.

“No one tried to hire me this summer.”

The 55-year-old, who steered Manchester City to the 2012 Premier League title and Inter to successive Scudetto successes from 2006 to 2008, believes the future looks bright for Italy, with the Euros to be followed by a World Cup in 2022.

Mancini added, quoted widely in the Italian media: “We started this job two years ago with great difficulties and despite everything I think we managed to do a great job and we hope to improve it even more.”

The postponement of Euro 2020 until next year has disrupted plans, with Mancini’s focus now falling on the Nations League games that lie ahead for Italy.

They face Bosnia-Herzegovina in Florence on Friday, before tackling Netherlands in Amsterdam on the following Monday.

Mancini also spoke about the appointment of Marcello Lippi to the role of technical director with the Italian federation (FIGC), following speculation he was disenchanted at not being consulted.

He said: “I don’t think it is such an important thing, absolutely nothing has changed. The president told me about it because it was already in the papers, but it all ended there. I didn’t need any reassurance or explanation.”

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