Roberto Mancini Steps Down as Zenit Manager as Italy Job Beckons

Zenit sit fifth in the Russian Premier League with one game remaining

Roberto Mancini is expected to be announced as Italy head coach by Wednesday, according to Sky.

Manager Roberto Mancini has agreed to leave Zenit St Petersburg by mutual consent.

However, the club said the contract, which will come to an end on Monday, had been severed through mutual consent and without any compensation payable.

Mancini will take a big pay cut to secure the job, having already given up potential earnings of €13m (£11.5m) by agreeing a termination of his Zenit contract just one year into a three-year deal.

Italy's top post has been vacant since Gian Piero Ventura was sacked when the four-time champions failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup to be held in Russian Federation from June 14 to July 15. "It has nothing to do with the club or the national team".

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"I want to say "thank you" for these wonderful seven years that I've spent here with you", he told fans of the Russian club after he assisted two goals in their final League game on Sunday.

Mancini meanwhile said he would be proud to coach Italy, telling Italian radio: "If one day I got the chance to sit on the national team bench it would be something handsome".

Earlier Mancini has said he would be proud to coach Italy, telling Italian radio: "If one day I got the chance to sit on the national team bench it would be something handsome".

The 53-year-old former Manchester City manager quit as Zenit Saint Petersburg coach on Sunday, saying he now felt free to open talks with Italy.

Italy host Saudi Arabia in St. Gallen, Switzerland on May 28 before matches against two more Russia-bound teams France and the Netherlands early next month.

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