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Roberto Mancini fancies coaching Italy

Zenit St Petersburg coach Roberto Mancini has conceded that he would like to coach the Italian national side before calling quits on his managerial career. The 52-year-old is currently the head coach of Russian giants Zenit, whom he joined during the summer.

In a report covered by Football Italia, the former Manchester City boss was impressed by the performance of the likes of Lazio, Inter Milan and Napoli this season, but stressed his desire to manage Italy by the age of 70, he said: "I really hope they qualify, because a World Cup without Italy is senseless. I'd like to become CT… before I turn 70. It is the dream of every Coach, but now it's right that the Nazionale is concentrated on qualification."

Mancini has helped Zenit to second in the Russian Premier League table, only behind CSKA Moscow, and he is content to continue his reign with the Capital outfit, who made significant changes during the summer, he added: "I am happy here, the team is young, has been renewed and we're doing well. Several top-level elements left in order to bring down the average age of the squad, but we are top of the table, so I can say I'm pleased."

Despite being settled at Moscow, Mancini has been linked with high-profile jobs in the Premier League, in particular, with West Ham United said to be eyeing him as a future replacement for Slaven Bilic. The east London side have made slow proceedings in the bottom half of the table, and Bilic's position is likely to be evaluated, should he fail to find a solution to the club's woeful league form. The Hammers are presently positioned 16th on the table with just nine points – just one adrift of Everton, who are in the drop zone with a similarly disappointing campaign.