Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has chosen Ignazio Visco as the new Bank of Italy head to take over from Mario Draghi in November, government sources said Thursday.
The premier's decision to back Visco came as a surprise as the economist -- who is currently deputy director general at the bank -- had not been among the favourites for the post.
The selection of a replacement for current chief Draghi, who is leaving to become president of the European Central Bank from next month, has sparked fierce rows within Berlusconi's increasingly fraught coalition.
Berlusconi announced his nomination in a letter to the governing council of the central bank, which has to respond officially although it has no veto power.
Press reports earlier Thursday said that Italian ECB executive board member Lorenzo Bini Smaghi would get the post.