Mihajlovic leaves Serbia for Sampdoria
Sinisa Mihajlovic is set to become the new coach of Serie A strugglers Sampdoria after announcing he is stepping down as boss of Serbia.
Mihajlovic, 44, made his announcement to reporters in Belgrade on Tuesday night after a meeting with Serbian FA bosses. After failing to guide his country to the World Cup, Mihajlovic has opted to accept an offer to return to club coaching and is expected to be officially unveiled in Genoa on Wednesday as the replacement for Delio Rossi -- who was sacked on Nov. 12.
"After talking with the Serbian Football Association directors, and after a long period of reflection, I have decided that I will no longer be coach of the national team," Mihajlovic is quoted as saying.
Serbia finished behind Belgium and Croatia in their World Cup qualifying group, and it was this disappointment and the uncertainty over his future more than the call from Sampdoria which convinced him to leave his role.
"I had decided to leave before and money was never a consideration," Mihajlovic added. "My decision to leave the national team has been taken because the Serbian FA bosses, president Tomislav Karadzic and general secretary Zoran Lakovic, were not able to give me any guarantees that I would be able to carry on as national team coach."
Mihajlovic will thus return to Italy, where he has already coached Bologna, Catania and Fiorentina, while he spent four years as a player for Sampdoria.
His first game in charge of the Blucerchiati will be against another of his former clubs, Lazio. Mihajlovic appeared for the Rome club after leaving Sampdoria in 1998, staying six years in the capital before ending his playing career after two subsequent seasons with Inter Milan.
In charge of Catania, he led the Sicilian club to 13th in Serie A -- their best ever finish at the time -- in 2010 while he took Fiorentina to ninth and was in the running to become coach of Inter before current Genoa boss Gian Piero Gasperini was appointed.