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Mangia to stay as Malta coach after Rijeka talks collapse

Devis Mangia will remain in charge of the Malta men’s national team after his talks with Croatian club NK Rijeka collapsed.

In fact, on Monday morning, the Croatian top-flight side named duo Dragan Tadic and Fausto Budicin in charge of the first-team.

Tadic will take over as Technical Director whereas the coach will be Budicin. They will be working together to oversee the Rijeka team in the upcoming 2022/2023 campaign.

Dragan Tadic (left) and Fausto Budicin.

The first candidate for Rijeka’s coaching job was Malta coach Mangia, as Times of Malta had reported last week.

Last Monday, Rijeka held a press conference with the club’s Sporting Director, Robert Palicuka, hinting towards the appointment of a foreign coach.

Asked if the new coach was going to be Croatian, Palicuka had replied, “No, he is a foreigner.”

In light of these reports, Bjorn Vassallo, the Malta FA’s president, told this website that he had held initial talks with Mangia and that the matter was going to be discussed during an Executive Board meeting.

“Whatever decision will be taken, it will be for the benefit of the Maltese game,” Vassallo had told the Times of Malta.

According to Croatian reports, Rijeka were committed in handing the job to Mangia but they failed to reach an agreement with the Malta FA and therefore they had to seek other alternatives.

Mangia, who was named Malta coach in December 2019, has a contract until December 31, 2023.

The Italian tactician has registered 14 positive results in 26 international games and is due to guide Malta in their Nations League finale against Estonia with a League C promotion at stake, in September.

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