Marcello Lippi could sign a pre-contract agreement by the end of May in order to return as Coach of the Azzurri after this summer's European Championships.

Speculation has been growing in the Italian press that the Italian Football Federation was edging ever closer to luring Lippi back. Roberto Donadoni's future as boss is in huge doubt with his contract expiring after Euro 2008.

Last week Donadoni rejected a new deal, which had a clause inserted that meant the contract could be ripped up if Italy flopped in Austria and Switzerland.

Donadoni and the FIGC are due for further talks at the end of June, but La Stampa says that it is looking likely that he will be leaving regardless of how well Italy do.

Lippi could indeed sign a pre contract agreement by the end of May, which will see him return to his former job at the beginning of July.

The 60-year-old has been out of work since leading the Azzurri to World Cup glory in Germany in 2006. He has stated on numerous occasions that he will be resuming his management career for the '08-09 season.

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