The 43-year-old earned promotion from Serie B via the playoffs with the Ligurian club in 2019/20 season and the Aquilotti have the chance to secure their Serie A survival in their maiden campaign.
According to TuttoMercatoWeb, Sassuolo have been impressed with the work Italiano has done at Spezia, especially his way of implementing an attacking philosophy with largely unknown and inexperienced players.
The Aquilotti coach was linked with Genoa prior to the 2020/21 season while Sampdoria have been interested and he remains an outside chance of getting the Napoli job if they part ways with Gennaro Gattuso.
Sassuolo seem the most likely to lure Italiano from Spezia though if De Zerbi leaves the Emilia-Romagna club after three seasons.
If De Zerbi does join Shakhtar Donetsk, he will be replacing outgoing Portuguese tactician Luis Castro.