Maldini interested in managing Italy

Legendary AC Milan defender Paolo Maldini has held talks with the Italian FA over the possibility of becoming the new Azzuri manager following the sacking of Gian Piero Venturo.

Venturo was sacked in November last year after Italy failed to qualify for the World Cup in Russia.

Maldini has confirmed holding talks with former teammate and Italian Football Federation vice commissioner, Alessandro Costacurta, who has been tasked with the responsibility of finding the new manager for the Azzuri. The new manager is expected to be announced on May 20.

Maldini won 126 caps for Italy and retired from international football just before his country won the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

He told Sky Sports Italia: “I'm always willing to listen.  It's hard to say no, especially to a chat with a friend like Billy [Costacurta]. Let's see if there are the right conditions to do something together, otherwise 'forza Italia' always.

“The problem is that I don't know what the short-term goal will be. I don't think that a manager who should build for the future would be accepted in Italy. We have to qualify for the European Championships, Italy can't wait.

“While with the youth teams and projects we can plan something. I wouldn't say Italy are a second-rate national team at the moment, but we're a long way behind the best.”