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    Roberto Mancini takes over as Italy coach, likely signaling Mario Balotelli return to Azzurri

    May 15, 2018

    ROME — Roberto Mancini has been confirmed as Italy's new coach.

    The Italian football federation made the announcement late Monday, saying Mancini will be introduced on Tuesday but without providing contract details.

    Mancini replaces Gian Piero Ventura, who was fired in November after the Azzurri failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time in six decades.

    Luigi Di Biagio guided Italy in an interim role for recent friendlies.

    Mancini's appointment will likely signal a return to the national team for Mario Balotelli.

    Balotelli, who has not played for Italy since the 2014 World Cup, featured under Mancini at both Inter Milan and Manchester City.

    Mancini left his job at Zenit St. Petersburg on Monday by mutual consent.

    Mancini, a former Italy player, has coached Fiorentina, Lazio, Inter, City and Galatasaray to titles.

    His Zenit team finished the Russian Premier League in fifth after beating relegated SKA Khabarovsk 6-0 on Sunday. That was a major disappointment for a team that spent big to sign five Argentine players including Leandro Paredes last summer and was expected to fight for the title.

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