Sampdoria president Edoardo Garrone admits that it would be a "dream" to welcome Roberto Mancini back to the club.
The former Inter boss, who enjoyed a 15-year spell with the Blucerchiati as a player, parted company with Premier League giants Manchester City on Monday and, while Garrone has flirted with the idea of snapping up the coach, he is under no illusions about his chances of luring the 48-year-old to Stadio Luigi Ferraris.
"In an ideal world I would appoint Roberto Mancini as the new Sampdoria coach. It is not wrong to dream but, unfortunately, it has to remain a dream," he told reporters.
Current coach Delio Rossi's future with the Genoa-based club was understood to be in doubt following a disappointing league campaign but Garrone expects the 52-year-old - who is yet to pen a contract extension - to remain in charge beyond this season.
"As far as I know, Rossi will still be here next year," he added. "He is yet to sign the contract, so I cannot say for certain."
Mancini won the Premier League and FA Cup last season but was informed that he was surplus to requirements at the Etihad Stadium after failing to retain either trophy this term, as well as being knocked out of the Champions League in the group stages.