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Pirlo kicks the sun

The Toe Poke
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 By Ben Gladwell

Inter Milan boss Roberto Mancini rules himself out of running for Italy job

Inter Milan coach Roberto Mancini has ruled himself out of the running to replace Antonio Conte as Italy manager, saying he is committed to his club.

Conte will step down at the end of Euro 2016, when he is expected to take over at Chelsea, and the Italian Football Association (FIGC) has begun the search for his replacement.

Mancini's name has been linked with the job, but he told the BBC that now was not the right time.

"I have another year on my contract with Inter after this," he said. "My job is to rebuild the Inter squad.

"Maybe in the future, when I finish my contract with Inter, if I have this option it could be a good option because being Italian manager is important."

"But in this moment, no. It's impossible."

Mancini was also linked with the Italy job before Conte was appointed as successor to Cesare Prandelli following the 2014 World Cup.

Bologna coach Roberto Donadoni and former England manager Fabio Capello are being touted as leading candidates, with Torino coach Giampiero Ventura also mentioned as a possibility.

Earlier this week, FIGC president Carlo Tavecchio hit out at Conte, suggesting the coach will leave "zero trace" of his work when his reign as Italy boss ends.

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