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 By Ben Gladwell

Cagliari appoint Zeman as coach

Zdenek Zeman was sacked by Roma in February 2013.

Zdenek Zeman is to embark on his next adventure in Serie A after being appointed as coach of Cagliari.

The 67-year-old, who has coached no fewer than 18 Italian clubs over a career which has spanned 48 years, has been out of work since being dismissed by Roma in February 2013.

However, he has now sealed his return to a Serie A bench, with Cagliari -- who finished 15th last season -- handing him a fresh challenge.

"I'm delighted to be here and I'm ready to give it my best," said the Czech upon arriving in Sardinia on Monday.

Zeman will hold his first news conference on Wednesday -- a week before he summons his players for their first preseason training session on July 10.

Renowned for his overtly attacking style of play, one of his first priorities will be to convince coveted Colombia forward Victor Ibarbo to stay amid rumours he has already agreed a move to Juventus.

In Turin, meanwhile, Torino became the first Serie A side to commence preseason training on Monday, with coach Giampiero Ventura setting his sights on a repeat of or improvement on last season's seventh-place finish.

"Three years ago, we were 10th in Serie B and now we're having to get back to work early to prepare for the Europa League qualifiers," he is quoted as saying by Repubblica. "Yet this is still not enough given the history of this club, and we want to carry on growing.

"If we show the same willingness and play the same football, nothing is beyond us. The fans are right behind us and we mustn't let them down. I'm really motivated to get going again and I'd be happy if my players had this same desire."

The Granata have just a month to prepare for the third qualifying round of the Europa League, which is why they are back to work before any of their league rivals. Sampdoria followed suit on Tuesday, while Inter Milan are to return on Friday.

Reigning champions Juventus still have two more weeks before they get to work, with promoted Cesena the last to kick off preparations for their return to Serie A on July 19.


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