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Prandelli backed by Italian football chief

Prandelli, 56, took on the role in 2010 and guided Italy to the UEFA Euro 2012 final, where they were beaten 4-0 by Spain.

However, the Italians bounced back to qualify for next year's tournament in Brazil, with Prandelli leading them through the campaign unbeaten to finish six points clear of second-placed Denmark.

The former Fiorentina boss has recently been linked with a return to club management following the tournament, with reports suggesting Roberto Mancini or Massimiliano Allegri could be in line for the national hot seat. 

"I like a lot of coaches,” Abete told Sky Sport Italia. "However, I like Prandelli more than anyone else.

"I hope that he stays as the head coach after Brazil 2014.

"If our relationship doesn’t continue then I won’t speak with any other coaches until Prandelli’s departure is made official."

A mooted destination for Prandelli if he gives up the national job is Juventus.

However, earlier this week, Juve director general Beppe Marotta moved to quash rumours Prandelli could replace Antonio Conte, saying: "There is no truth in the thinking that we are looking for a new coach.

"The Cesare Prandelli rumours are without foundation."