Two-horse race for Italy job

The next Italy boss is likely to be decided upon next week and there seem to be two outstanding candidates for the role.

After a miserable World Cup, Italian football needs a new man to take the national team forward and La Gazzetta dello Sport believes it is between Antonio Conte and Roberto Mancini.

Cesare Prandelli was a popular Italy coach, but his team collapsed in Brazil and suffered the ignominy of a first-round exit, causing the ex-Fiorentina man to resign despite extending his contract before the tournament.

Italian Football Federation chief Giancarlo Abete also resigned after the World Cup and a new top man has to be voted in before a coach can be chosen.

La Gazzetta dello Sport's front page has the headline: 'Conte or Mancini: What Italy will it be?' with a picture of the two men's heads.

The paper insists that they are the only two genuine candidates for the role and will each bring their own flavour to the Azzurri.

It is claimed that Conte would install a 3-5-2 formation and cut AC Milan marksman Mario Balotelli out of the squad, while Mancini would put his hopes in Fiorentina's Giuseppe Rossi as a trequartista.

Conte shocked many when he resigned as Juventus coach earlier in the summer after leading the Old Lady to three consecutive titles.

Despite seeming to commit himself for the 2014-15 campaign, Conte was angry at a lack of purchasing power from the Bianconeri's directors and decided to quit.

Mancini left Turkish club Galatasaray at the end of last season by mutual consent and was replaced by Prandelli.

The ex-Manchester City man has his own trio of Scudetti from his time at Inter when he won the Italian title in 2006, 2007 and 2008 while Juventus were out of the picture having been derailed by the Calciopoli scandal.

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