Roberto Mancini has been backed to become the new coach of the Italy national team by Marcello Lippi.
Zenit coach Mancini will enter talks over the job at the end of the Russian Premier League season, the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) has confirmed.
The FIGC previously named Mancini on their shortlist for the position, along with Chelsea's Antonio Conte and interim boss Luigi Di Biagio, while Claudio Ranieri and Carlo Ancelotti were among the other rumoured candidates.
Italian great Lippi, who led the Azzurri to the World Cup in 2006, believes Mancini is the right man to turn the country's fortunes around after they failed to qualify for Russia 2018.
"Mancini is a top coach with great international experience," Lippi told ANSA.
"All three names that have been put forward, I think, have been welcomed by the fans: Ancelotti, Mancini and Ranieri. There was also talk of [Atalanta coach Gian Piero] Gasperini.
"If it's Mancini, he will certainly be a coach with great international experience. He's managed great champions before, and it seems to me that he has huge desire to coach the Italy team. That's the minimum requirement."
Get the best features, fun and footballing frolics straight to your inbox every week.
Thank you for signing up to Four Four Two. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.