Former Italy head coach Roberto Mancini is set to be appointed as the new coach of the Saudi Arabia national team.
Mancini will leave for Riyadh on Monday to attend a presentation event, Italy’s Ansa news agency has reported. Italian media also reported that he will sign a contract until 2027 worth €25m (£21.5m) after tax per year, and will make his debut in the dugout on 8 September against Costa Rica.
Former Napoli coach Luciano Spalletti replaced Mancini as Italy head coach last week. Mancini resigned on 13 August, ending a five-year spell in charge of the national team in which they won the European Championship, beating England on penalties in the final, but missed out on qualification for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Frenchman Herve Renard stepped down as Saudi Arabia’s coach in March. The team will attempt to win its fourth Asian Cup title at the continental championship to be held in Qatar early next year.
The country is heavily investing in its top-flight football league. The Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) this summer announced extensive investment in domestic clubs Al-Ittihad, Al-Ahli, Al-Nassr and Al-Hilal, with a host of top players moving to the league.
Mancini was manager of Manchester City between 2009 and 2013, guiding the club to a first Premier League title in 2012.