Roberto Mancini is reported to be on the verge of a shock return to Inter Milan after Walter Mazzarri was sacked by the Serie A club.
FC Internazionale announces that Walter Mazzarri has been relieved of his duties as first team coach. #FCIM
- F.C. Internazionale (@Inter_en) November 14, 2014
Italian sports news channel Sky Sport 24 reported that an agreement with Mancini was reached overnight , with Inter confirming on Friday afternoon that Mazzarri had been dismissed.
The club thanked Mazzarri "for his effort, dedication and [the] seriousness with which he has led the squad over these 17 months," adding that Friday's training session "will be led by Giuseppe Baresi."
Between 2004 and 2008, Mancini led the Nerazzurri to three Serie A titles before being sacked by then president Massimo Moratti. He was hired by Manchester City six months later, leading them to their first Premier League title in 2012 and becoming only the second Italian after Carlo Ancelotti to win the English title.
Mazzarri had been under pressure this season, with a disappointing run of results leaving Inter 12 points off the summit and five behind the third place they had set as their objective in the summer.
The club's fans had largely lost their faith in Mazzarri, whose name was not announced prior to their last two home games in order to avoid a negative reaction.
Sunday's 2-2 draw with Hellas Verona proved to be the final straw for Inter president Erick Thohir who, despite reaffirming his backing for the former Reggina, Sampdoria and Napoli coach after the game, has now relieved him of his duties.
It is the first time in Mazzarri's career that he has been sacked by a club, having previously left jobs of his own accord.
He led Reggina to safety despite starting with an 11-point penalty in 2006-07 and then guided Sampdoria into the UEFA Cup before moving to Napoli in 2009.
The coach took the Azzurri into the Europa League at the end of his first season, and finished third and second in his subsequent two years prior to taking the reins at Inter in 2013.
His first year in Milan was widely regarded as a success as he took the club back into Europe, earning a new two-year contract which he signed on July 1 -- but those four months have seen a deterioration in fortunes.
Mancini, who is reported to be about to sign a two-and-a-half-year contract, will be back on the Inter bench for the first time in the derby against AC Milan on Nov. 23 if he ends up being appointed.
In addition to the three scudettos, he won the Coppa Italia and the Italian Supercoppa twice, winning 140 of his games in charge and losing only 26 while drawing the other 60.
The 49-year-old has been out of work since leaving Galatasaray in June, citing differences in the club's objectives as his reason.