In a statement, Sardinian outfit Cagliari said that Di Francesco had signed a two-year deal.

The former Sassuolo and Roma boss, sacked in October by Sampdoria, replaces Walter Zenga.

Di Francesco, 50, made his mark as coach during his five years at Sassuolo, leading the club into Serie A for the first time in 2013 and qualifying for the Europa League in 2017.

The former midfielder won 14 Italy caps and was part of the Roma team that won Serie A in 2001.

He returned to Roma as coach in 2017 and led the club to a third-place finish and the Champions League semi-finals in his first season in charge.

He joined Sampdoria in June last year having been replaced by Claudio Ranieri at Roma three months earlier but left with the club bottom of the table.

Ranieri then replaced him at Samp too and guided the Genoa-based team to safety.

Under Zenga, who was appointed in March, Cagliari finished 14th.

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