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Walter Mazzarri Linked With Toronto FC Coaching Job

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The Italians are coming again, or so is the rumour according to a number of major publications out of Italy. Is there smoke to another foreign media fire?

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The scenario isn't new. In April it was rumoured that Toronto FC coach Greg Vanney was one loss away from losing his job, with a variety of Italian candidates ready to take over his position. A new president from Italy was also thought to be in the works.

None of this turned out to be true. Greg Vanney won the next game against Orlando, whether that mattered or not, and the rumours slowly dissipated as Toronto FC got back on track and moved towards making their first ever playoff appearance.

However, a brutal 3-0 loss to rival Montreal Impact in the club's first ever playoff game has created some soul searching. With that comes renewed rumours that Toronto FC will be bringing in a new head coach, this time Walter Mazzarri, the former manager of Napoli and Inter Milan.

Mazzarri has not managed since 2014 when he was replaced at Inter Milan, but has moved to England to work on his language skills and search for a new club. None have been forthcoming, and rumours have begun that he is looking for a North American home.

The move has been reported by several Italian media sources, including Football Italia and David Amoyal, who was behind the first set of rumours that Toronto FC was getting an Italian facelift.

Italian media hasn't always been reliable with Toronto FC content in the past, however. Besides the reports earlier this year which turned out to be false, they were persistent that Alberto Gilardino was going to join Toronto FC in 2013.

Mazzarri's agent is also of some note, as it is Andrea D'Amico, who is Sebastian Giovinco's agent and helped bring the Italian star to Toronto FC. He is said to currently be in Toronto working with Major League Soccer clubs to find a new home for Mazzarri, with TFC being at the top of that list.

The Premier League is said to be the league that Mazzarri is most interested in joining, but barring that D'Amico hasn't ruled out North America.

Despite the persistent rumours, it would be surprising if Toronto FC changed their tone on coaching. President Bill Manning said at the club's end of season press conference that he was going to give Greg Vanney another chance to prove himself. He isn't one to go back on his word.

During that press conference Manning preached consistency, and this certainly wouldn't be that. Bringing in Jason Kreis, who Manning has admitted to considering heavily for the Toronto job, would have been closer. But foreign managers rarely work out in Major League Soccer, and this would be another complete system's change.

Whether or not these reports have any validity to them, the Toronto FC coaching situation and rumours surrounding it will be just as interesting to watch as the Sebastian Giovinco saga this offseason.