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There have been suggestions that the coach may step aside after next summer's tournament in Brazil but the FIGC chief says holding on to him is the priority

Italian Football Federation (FIGC) president Giancarlo Abete is hoping Cesare Prandelli remains as Italy coach beyond the 2014 World Cup.

Prandelli took on the role in 2010 and guided the Azzurri to the Euro 2012 final, where they were beaten 4-0 by Spain.

However, the team bounced back to qualify for next year's tournament in Brazil, with the former Fiorentina boss leading them through the campaign unbeaten to finish six points clear of second-placed Denmark.

It has been speculated that Prandelli could return to club coaching after the World Cup but the FIGC chief has insisted that holding on to the current head trainer is his priority.

"I like a lot of coaches,” Abete told Sky Sport. "However, I like Prandelli more than anyone else. I hope that he stays as the head coach after Brazil 2014.

"If our relationship doesn’t continue then I won’t speak with any other coaches until Prandelli’s departure is made official."

Speculation has linked Prandelli to Juventus, however, earlier this week, the Serie A side’s director general Giuseppe Marotta dismissed rumours suggesting Antonio Conte could be replaced.

"There is no truth in the thinking that we are looking for a new coach," he said. "The Cesare Prandelli rumours are without foundation."

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