Former Italian international goalkeeper Walter Zenga has always had a fascination with America. The Inter Milan legend first came to the States in 1997 as a player with the New England Revolution and stayed for two years, taking over as coach in 1998.
Now, the "Spider-Man" could be on his way back to the U.S., with reports out of Italy claiming he is in talks to take over as coach of the New York Red Bulls.
Sacked last month by Serie A side Palermo after only six months on the job, Zenga hinted that his services were in demand already.
"It's bad not to be working," the former Inter No. 1 told
Zenga has actually spent most of his coaching career outside of Italy. After his stint with the Revolution, the 49-year-old returned to Europe, where he managed National Bucharest and Steaua Bucharest, with whom he won a league championship. In 2005, he took over Red Star Belgrade and won another domestic title.
After a year in the Middle East and another back in Romania, with Dinamo Bucharest, he was finally handed the reins of a Serie A side, Catania, in 2008. The Rossazzurri improved under Zenga, but the club and the manager parted ways at the end of one season by "mutual consent."
In the summer of 2009, Zenga traveled to the other side of Sicily to take over at Palermo, but a run of poor results saw him axed in November.
The Red Bulls have been without a permanent coach since the August departure of Juan Carlos Osorio. Interim coach Richie Williams did well to resurrect the team somewhat, but it is known the club is interested in finding a bigger name to coach. A spokesman for the Red Bulls declined to comment on the reports when contacted by Goal.com.
If Zenga were to take over New York just as the club opens the brand-new Red Bull Arena, he would fulfill many of the criteria that most observers believe the job demands: a marquee name, connections to Europe, a decent track record of success and experience with MLS and American players.