Roberto Mancini: Former Manchester City boss in talks to become Italy manager

Roberto Mancini is set to become the new manager of the Italy national team

Roberto Mancini has called for patience in rebuilding the Italy national team following the heartbreak of missing out on the 2018 World Cup.

Zenit Saint Petersburg manager Roberto Mancini is close to taking helm at the Italy national football squad.

Gazzetta added that the former Manchester City boss was offered a two-year contract until 2020 worth €4 million (S$6.4million) a year.

The Azzurri are without a coach after they made a decision to show Gian Piero Ventura the exit door following Italy's failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russian Federation.

Mancini is understood to have held a secret meeting with Italian Football Federation chief Alessandro Costacurta and thrashed out terms.

The former Sampdoria and Lazio forward (he won Serie A with both, as a player), has won league titles at Manchester City and Inter Milan.

Mancini is expected to take over the national team after the final round of Russian domestic fixtures on May 13 and before the May 20 deadline set by the Italian FA.

Zenit are fourth in the standings, seven points behind the leaders Lokomotiv Moscow with two games remaining, and could still qualify for next season's Champions League.

Under-21 coach Luigi Di Biagio oversaw Italy's friendly matches against Argentina and England in March.

Nantes coach Claudio Ranieri had been a secondary candidate.

Former Manchester City manager Mancini, 53, who is now in charge of Russian side Zenit St Petersburg, agreed to take over after Carlo Ancelotti rejected the opportunity.