MOSCOW: Reports from Italy have suggested that Roberto Mancini could quit Manchester City to take over the Russian national team on a six-year contract leading up to the country’s hosting of the 2018 World Cup.

Mancini, who just led City to their first English league title in 44 years, is supposedly being offered a contract worth €7.5m-a-year. The Russian federation would pay City €20m in compensation.

If confirmed, the move could cause turbulence within the European coaching ‘market’ and revive speculation about attempts to persuade ex-Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola out of his sabbatical.

Mancini, in 2009, had turned down a previous offer from the Russians. The Russian Football Union is looking for a new manager to create a long-term plan ever since DutchmanDick Advocaat stepped down following the highly disappointing first-round exit from the Euro 2012 finals.

Uncertainty also hovers over Antonio Conte even though he has just led Juventus to the first league title since the matchfix scandal. Conte faces an Italian federation hearing next week over whether he was involved in, or had any knowledge of, matchfixing in Serie B while he was coach of Siena. The two games concerned were away to Siena and home to Albinoleffe.

If  Conte were handed anything more than a two or three-month ban then Juve might turn to former midfielder Cesare Prandelli who took Italy, impressively and positively, to the recent final of Euro 2012.

Louis Van Gaal has been appointed new manager of Holland in place of Bert Van Marwijk who quit after the first-round exit in Poland and Ukraine. Holland lost all their three games.


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