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Carlo Ancelotti has turned down an offer to coach Italy, leaving Roberto Mancini as favourite for the job, Italian media reports said on Sunday.
The 58-year-old, sacked by Bayern Munich in September, held talks with Italian federation (FIGC) officials in Rome last Monday, according to reports published in several newspapers including Corriere dello Sport and Gazzetta dello Sport.
One of the reasons given was that Ancelotti believes he can get a job with a leading European club. The FIGC could not immediately be reached for comment.
Italy, currently at an all-time low of 20th in the FIFA rankings, have been without a permanent coach since November when Gian Piero Ventura was sacked following their failure to qualify for this year's World Cup in Russia.
Luigi Di Biagio took charge of the team for their friendlies against Argentina and England in March on an interim basis.
Ancelotti, a former midfielder, is one of Europe's most successful coaches, having won the Champions League with AC Milan and Real Madrid, plus domestic league titles with Chelsea, AC Milan, Paris St Germain and Bayern Munich.
Mancini is currently coach of Russian side Zenit St Petersburg.
Former Chelsea, Roma, Juventus, Inter Milan and Leicester City coach Claudio Ranieri, now at Ligue 1 club Nantes, was also reported to be in the running but was considered an outsider.
Magnificent seven for Celtic who seal title with Old Firm rout
Celtic sealed a seventh straight Scottish title after thrashing 'Old Firm' Glasgow rivals Rangers 5-0 at Celtic Park, opening up an unassailable 10-point lead at the top of the table with three games to play.
Rangers came into Sunday's encounter having not tasted victory over their Glasgow rivals in eight matches, and were soon on the back foot after Odsonne Edouard had put the league leaders in front with just 14 minutes on the clock.
Edouard made it two with a fine finish in the 42nd minute, before James Forrest drilled home a third on the stroke of halftime.
Further goals from Tom Rogic and Callum McGregor in the 47th and 53rd minutes added to Rangers' humiliation, as Celtic Park went into party mode.
Celtic should have won by a greater margin having missed a host of chances to add a sixth goal, but manager Brendan Rodgers will be delighted to have sealed a seventh crown in a row in such an emphatic manner.
Celtic's season is not over yet, as they still have the Scottish Cup final against Motherwell to come, as they chase an unprecedented second successive Scottish treble.
Rangers sit third, three points behind Aberdeen in second, with their managerial situation still shrouded in doubt, with former Liverpool and England midfielder Steven Gerrard linked with the job.
The 37-year-old Gerrard has been coaching with Liverpool’s development squad since retiring in 2016 and has said he wishes to become a manager.
Gerrard and Rangers chairman Dave King attended Liverpool’s Champions League semi-final first leg with AS Roma on Tuesday and the BBC has reported that Rangers are prepared to offer him the job even though he has no direct experience of Scottish football.
Chievo fire coach Maran with three matches left
Serie A strugglers Chievo fired coach Rolando Maran on Sunday with the team in the middle of a relegation battle and only three matches to play.
Chievo have won only two matches since the start of the year and are two points and one place above the drop zone following their 4-1 defeat at AS Roma on Saturday.
"Chievo announce that Rolando Maran has been relieved of his duties as coach of the first team," said a statement on the Verona-based club's website.
"We thank Maran for the work which he has undertaken with effort, reliability and professionalism from the first day."
Youth team coach Lorenzo D'Anna will replace Maran for the rest of the season, the club said.
Maran, the 10th coaching victim of the Serie A season, had been in charge for three-and-a-half years.
Under his leadership, Chievo twice finished in the lower half of the table but comfortably avoided relegation and were ninth in the other season.
Originally a small club from the Verona suburb of the same name, Chievo reached the top tier for the first time in 2001, earning them the nickname the Flying Donkeys.
Fans of Verona, the city's biggest club, never took Chievo seriously and had claimed that donkeys would fly before their smaller neighbours reached the top flight.