ST PETERSBURG: Roberto Mancini is the new coach of Zenit St Petersburg, undertaking his first experience of Russian football on a contract worth a reported €4.5m-a-year.
Sergey Fursenko, president of the former UEFA Cup winners, told local media that the former Manchester City and Internazionale team manager will arrive in St Petersburg on June 13 and then fly two days later with the team to their Austrian training camp.
The 52-year-old Italian has agreed a three-year contract with an option for two seasons more. His previous posts also include spells in charge of Fiorentina and Lazio as well as Turkey’s Galatasaray.
His cv includes success in the Italian league and cup as well as the English Premier League and FA Cup.
Mancini replaces Mircea Lucescu, the former Shakhtar Donetsk coach who was sacked at the end of last month after only one year in the job.
While Mancini and his players are away getting to know each other St Petersburg will be the Opening and Final focus of the Confederations Cup, the warm-up tournament ahead of Russia’s staging next year of the World Cup.
The new 68,000-capacity St Petersburg stadium opened on April 22 with a 2-0 league victory for Zenit over Ural.
It will host four matches at the Confederations Cup on a new pitch after the first version cut up badly in that opening game.
Fursenko hopes that the stadiun, which will need further work after the Confederations Cup, will be available as home ground for Zenit for the start of the 2017-18 domestic season.