While the top 32 teams in the world are preparing for the World Cup holding in Russia with friendly matches, the Italians are looking to savage what is left of their national team as they go in search of a new coach, one who is a familiar face at the job, Antonio Conte.

The Chelsea manager emerged as the preferred choice of some senior Italian FA members to return and replace Gian Piero Ventura, but Carlo Ancelotti and Roberto Mancini are also in the frame after the disastrous playoff defeat to Sweden on Monday.

The Chelsea boss led Italy to the quarter-finals of Euro 2016 before moving to Stamford Bridge.

Ancelotti is available after his sacking by Bayern Munich but has said he wants to take the rest of the season off. Ventura is expected to learn his fate today.

England face the Netherlands and Italy in friendly games in March.

Author: Yemi Olarinre