Ancelotti, Mancini and Ranieri are being sounded out for permanent role, with the major requirement to bring through a new generation of talent after World Cup failure
Italy’s footballers will not play in Russia this summer but for the man in charge of their national team, visits to the Etihad Stadium and Wembley represent the next best thing. Speaking at the start of this international break, Luigi Di Biagio likened the Azzurri’s friendlies against Argentina and England to a “mini-World Cup”.
He was clutching at straws, yet few would fault him for doing so. As the caretaker manager of a football team still recovering from their first failure to qualify for the real tournament in six decades, Di Biagio needed, at a minimum, to bring a little fresh optimism to the role.