Conte turns down Italian job, di Biagio in the frame

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has ruled himself out of the running to be Italy coach but interim boss Luigi di Biagio could be an option, Italian football federation (FIGC) assistant commissioner Alessandro Costacurta said yesterday.

Former AC Milan defender Costacurta has been given the task of finding a replacement for Gian Piero Ventura who was sacked after Italy failed to qualify for this year's World Cup. The Azzurri last missed a World Cup in 1958.

"Antonio Conte has pulled out," Costacurta told Sky Sport Italia, adding that Italy Under-21 coach di Biagio, in charge for next month's friendlies against Argentina and England , could be handed more than just an interim role.

"He wants to continue working as a coach on a day-by-day basis at club level for at least the next 18 months, the length of his Chelsea contract, so he has pulled out of the running." - AFP