Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is the “best” option to be the next Italy manager, says the Italian Football Federation’s Alessandro Costacurta.
Conte coached the Azzurri from 2014-2016 before moving to Stamford Bridge, where he won the Premier League in his first season in charge.
Italy sacked coach Giampiero Ventura in November after they failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.
Conte, 48, has 18 months remaining on his contract at Stamford Bridge.
“I haven’t chosen yet but I think Conte is the one who could do the best,” said Italian Football Federation (FIGC) deputy commissioner Costacurta in quotes to Gazzetta dello Sport, which have been verified to BBC Sport by the FIGC.
“I’ll definitely talk with him in a couple of months.”
Italy reached the quarter-finals of Euro 2016 with Conte, who has 20 international caps, before he joined Chelsea.
Despite winning the Premier League last season, Chelsea have struggled this term and defeat to Manchester United on Sunday left the Blues in fifth.
Gazzetta says ex-Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini, former Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti, and ex-Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri are also being considered by Costacurta.
The former AC Milan and Italy defender added: “Conte has already shown he knows how to be national team coach while the others haven’t yet.
“That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t be happy with Mancini or with Ancelotti – although [Ancelotti] seems to have removed himself from consideration.
“Or the same with Ranieri, who had a difficult experience with Greece but came out stronger and went to Leicester.”