Ciro Ferrara is to leave his role with the Italy Under 21 team to take charge of Sampdoria on a two-year contract.
Rafa Benitez had previously been linked with the role as Sampdoria set their sights on a big name after winning promotion back to Serie A.
But Benitez turned down the chance to go to Samp and Ferrara is now set to succeed Giuseppe Iachini, who has been in charge since last November.
The 45-year-old Ferrara will return to guide a club for the first time since managing Juventus in the 2009-10 season.
Italy Football Federation president Giancarlo Abete confirmed the news, saying: "(Sampdoria president Riccardo) Garrone has contacted me to make a proposal to Ciro Ferrara, something other club executives had failed to do before.
"I have spoken to Garrone and to Ferrara, who expressed to me his wish to be involved with Sampdoria in the next couple of years and we have given him the OK.
"With (Italy coach Cesare) Prandelli and (FIGC vice-president Demetrio) Albertini we will consider who the new Under 21 coach will be."