Antonio Conte has been confirmed as the new head coach of the Italy national team.
The former Juventus boss, who left the Bianconeri in July, was announced as Cesare Prandelli’s long-term replacement by the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) on Thursday evening. He has agreed a two-year deal and will be presented on Tuesday.
The Italy job had been vacant since Prandelli resigned at the end of the World Cup finals in Brazil. The Azzurri failed to progress from a group which also contained England, Uruguay and Costa Rica.
An FIGC statement read: "President (Carlo) Tavecchio and Antonio Conte spoke directly by phone this morning to define the final aspects of the collaboration that will bind Antonio Conte to the FIGC until July 31, 2016. The new coach shared in the president Tavecchio’s vision to revitalize the national team and the project of training of new Azzurri players, and has a strong commitment towards the technical sector as coordinator of the youth teams."
The Gazzetta dello Sport claimed earlier on Thursday that newly elected FIGC president Carlo Tavecchio was prepared to offer Conte a two-year deal worth € 1.6million net each year. But, given the fact the 45-year-old collected a reported € 3.5million annual salary at Juve, the FIGC is understood to have asked national team kit sponsors Puma to help bridge the sizeable gap.
The federation’s statement continued: "The contract between the FIGC and Antonio Conte provides compensation in line with the cost of the previous management, with a bonus for qualifying for Euro 2016, an added bonus in case of improvement of at least five places in the FIFA rankings, and a third bonus in case of participation at the Euro 2016 finals."
Conte, a midfielder with Lecce and Juventus, enjoyed three successful years as a manager in Turin, guiding Juve to three consecutive Serie A titles and once into the Round of 16 of the Champions League. He served a four-month FIGC suspension from football between August and December 2012 for failing to report his knowledge of attempted match-fixing during his time as the manager of Siena.