Italy have set their sights on Carlo Ancelotti to become their new head coach after sacking the unsuccessful Gian Piero Ventura on Wednesday.
Ventura’s side failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1958 following a 1-0 aggregate play-off defeat to Sweden.
Sky Sports News understands that Ancelotti has been approached by the Italian Football Federation about replacing the 69-year-old, who lasted only 18 months in the job.
Ventura’s side failed to score in both legs of their play-off and he came under criticism for a string of specific decisions, including the late inclusion of midfielder Daniele De Rossi as a substitute against Sweden, instead of forward Lorenzo Insigne.
Concerns were raised before their elimination from the World Cup after an uninspiring end to qualifying which saw them draw at home to Macedonia and need a late goal from Antonio Candreva to beat Albania.
His potential successor Ancelotti, 58, has an impressive CV in club management but has been out of work since being sacked by Bayern Munich in September.
The Italian press reacted strongly to Italy's failure to qualify for the World Cup for the first time in 60 years
He has won the Champions League three times, with AC Milan and Real Madrid, along with league titles at Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern. Ancelotti represented his country as a player, making 26 appearances.
Chelsea boss Antonio Conte, Roberto Mancini, currently in charge of Zenit St Petersburg in Russia, and Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri are the other leading names reportedly in the frame.
The Azzurri next play in March, with friendlies against England and Argentina.