'Important names' being considered as Ventura's Italy replacement

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The Azzurri sacked the coach on Wednesday and the head of the Italian Football Federation is hoping to appoint an impressive successor

A number of "important names" are being considered to take over from sacked Italy coach Gian Piero Ventura, according to Italian Football Federation (FIGC) president Carlo Tavecchio.

Ventura's dismissal was confirmed on Wednesday after several days of speculation in the wake of Italy's failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, the first they will not feature in since 1958.

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Italy lost 1-0 on aggregate in their qualification play-off with Sweden after finishing second to Spain in the group phase.

Ventura's sacking appeared inevitable as soon as the full-time whistle went at the end of the second-leg 0-0 draw in Milan, with an official announcement eventually coming after an FIGC meeting on Wednesday in Rome.

Tavecchio, who has also come in for significant criticism, assured fans that "important" coaches are being considered, with Carlo Ancelotti the favourite following his departure from Bayern Munich in September.

"I want to respect you, I think it's my duty," Tavecchio told reporters in Rome. "I spoke to Ventura and I told him that we were no longer in need of his services and he's no longer coach of the national team.

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"We've been thinking of important names and we're going to carry them to the end of the process.

"On Monday, there will be a Federal Council meeting, where I will present a program which will be done in conjunction with the other leagues.

"I'll present this proposal and the council will decide. I have nothing further to add."

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