Sereni is Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s top choice for the ministerial post, when Mogherini leaves Rome to become the EU’s foreign policy chief, La Stampa reported.
The report sidelines Lapo Pistello, Italy’s deputy prime minister, who was tipped as the ideal candidate for the post in September.
But Sereni may be chosen in order to maintain the cabinet’s gender balance, a key element of Renzi’s government which sought to change Italy’s male-dominated political scene.
While Pistello is currently more directly involved in international affairs than Sereni, between 2001 and 2005 she led the Democracy of the Left (DS) party’s foreign policy efforts.
After the DS joined up with Renzi’s Democratic Party (PD) in 2007, Sereni was in 2009 named vice president of the group’s national assembly and was elected to parliament in 2013.