Lazio say Spurs must wait to appoint Mancini

By Mark Bradley
Friday 02 January 2004 01:00

Tottenham were today warned that any move for the Lazio coach, Roberto Mancini, would have to wait until at least this summer. Spurs have already been linked with Martin O'Neill, Alan Curbishley and Guus Hiddink to fill their long-term managerial vacancy.

However, it is speculated that the North London club are considering the possibility of replacing the caretaker manager, David Pleat, sooner rather than later after their poor run of results. Mancini's agent, Athole Still, believes that Spurs are interested in him.

"I've heard there has been interest but there have been no official discussions and there are many complications," Still said. Those complications could relate to the fact that Mancini has almost four years left to run on his existing contract with Lazio.

Although Lazio's sporting director, Oreste Cinquini, admitted that Mancini could leave in the summer, he stressed that the former Italian international was not available at the moment. "The club at the moment is undergoing a difficult time so we cannot guarantee he will remain next season," Cinquini said. "But Mancini will remain at Lazio this season."

Mancini has limited first-hand experience of English football, having played six games for Peter Taylor's Leicester in early 2001, before returning to Italy to take charge of Fiorentina.

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