Italy have confirmed that they are looking to extend coach Marcello Lippi’s contract beyond next year’s World Cup finals.

“Lippi is doing an exceptional job. If he would like to extend his contract beyond 2006, the Federation would be very favourable,” the Italian football federation president Franco Carraro told Gazzetta dello Sport.

Lippi’s current deal expires in July 2006 and he admitted he was pleased that his employers were looking to extend his deal.

“I don’t believe we’ll talk about it before the World Cup because we’ll need to see how things go there,” said the former Juventus boss.

Lippi replaced Giovanni Trapattoni in July last year following their early exit from Euro 2004.

Under his control, Italy are now unbeaten in their last 14 matches and the 3-1 win over Holland at the weekend has raised expectations about their chances at next year’s World Cup finals.

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