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Mancini plays down Italy links

Inter coach Roberto Mancini has dismissed speculation linking him with the Italy job as Antonio Conte closes in on a move to Chelsea.

Conte is seemingly set to vacate the Italy hot seat following Euro 2016 in France, with a return to club management via Chelsea reportedly agreed.

Mancini has been earmarked as a potential replacement and while he did not rule out a move in the future, the 51-year-old is happy where he is.

“It’s always an honour to have your name linked with the national team but for now I don’t think so,” Mancini told reporters at the Panchina D’Oro awards ceremony in Coverciano on Monday

“We’ll see in the future.”

Mancini, instead, is focused on securing a top-three finish for Inter this season.

After topping the table during the early stages of the campaign, Inter have now slumped to fifth, two points adrift of Roma, leading to widespread criticism and rumours of Mancini’s potential departure.

“That’s Italy,” he said. “Whether things are going well or not I just do my job – sometimes you get it right, other times you get it wrong.

“I’m used to Italian football by now and I don’t worry about the plaudits or the criticism. I think you should be judged at the end of the season.”

Mancini added: “We made people think we could win the title. Obviously if we were up there with five matches remaining we’d have a chance.

“We always knew there were four better teams than us in the league but that doesn’t mean we can’t finish third. That was our objective at the start of the season and we hope to achieve it – if we got third it would be a great season for us.”

Tue 8 Mar, 2016
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