Massimiliano Allegri insists he has no issues with taking a year out from football if the right opportunity does not present itself following his Juventus exit.

Allegri's last game in charge of Juventus ended in a disappointing 2-0 defeat to Sampdoria on Sunday courtesy of late goals from Gregoire Defrel and Gianluca Caprari.

The 51-year-old head coach has been linked with a number of jobs around Europe – including Chelsea and Bayern Munich – but Allegri said he will not rush into his next move and is prepared to wait for as long as it takes to find the perfect role.

"When there is an opportunity, I will return to the bench, otherwise I will take a year off," he told DAZN after the defeat to Sampdoria.  

"If I have the opportunity to choose, I will choose a team that I like. Concrete offers? Still no. Talking about the future now makes no sense."

Allegri has won Serie A in each of his five seasons at the Allianz Arena and believes his successor will inherit a team significantly stronger than any other in Italy.

"Whoever arrives will find a team clearly stronger than the others," he added. "There is a 90 per cent chance of winning the league again."

Allegri has been given a warm send-off by Juve supporters since the decision was announced last week and he is pleased to be leaving the Italian giants on positive terms.

"At the stadium they were all affectionate; on social networks some hide," he said. "I am a detached person, but the affection has had a beautiful effect and I'm glad I leave with good memories."

Juventus have not spoken to Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola about replacing Massimiliano Allegri, insists the club's sporting director Fabio Paratici.

Italian news agency AGI claimed on Thursday that Juve had reached an agreement with Guardiola for him to succeed the outgoing Allegri as head coach.

According to the outlet, the Catalan was set to sign a four-year deal worth €24million per season with the Bianconeri on June 4 and be presented to the media 10 days later.

City Football Group executive Alberto Galassi dismissed the claims as "a load of nonsense" and now Paratici has expressed his bemusement at the reports, describing them as "strange".

"I think we live in a strange world," he told DAZN.

"We didn't have any contact. We never even thought about it because [Guardiola] is under contract. For a thousand reasons, it all seems very strange to me."

A host of names, including Mauricio Pochettino and Maurizio Sarri, have been linked with the job but Paratici says Juventus will not be rushed into a decision.

"We have clear ideas," he added. "We have already said it; we are doing our evaluations and there are still many competitions in progress. Until all the competitions end, it seems to me right, out of respect for everyone to remain in this situation."

Paratici added that Juve are in no hurry to sign new players and are happy to wait until the new man is in place before entering the transfer market.

"We will act according to what the new coach's directives will be," he explained. Before we move on, we will wait, very calmly. We try to improve every year."

Juventus failed to give Massimiliano Allegri a winning send-off as late goals from Gregoire Defrel and Gianluca Caprari secured a 2-0 win for Sampdoria on Sunday.

The Old Lady have made a habit of winning under Allegri during his five years in charge, lifting five successive league titles, though they fell short of those standards in Genoa and dropped points for a fifth Serie A game on the bounce.

There was a distinct end-of-season feel to the majority of the first half, with excitement lacking and clear-cut chances at a premium.

Proceedings picked up at the start of the second period, with Juve going close three times and having a Moise Kean goal disallowed, but Sampdoria's more clinical finishing saw them claim victory.

Defrel opened the scoring six minutes from time and Caprari's gorgeous free-kick allowed Samp to finish the season in style.

Massimiliano Allegri kept his final pre-match news conference as Juventus coach short and sweet, but did reveal that Cristiano Ronaldo will be rested against Sampdoria.

Bianconeri coach Allegri will depart the Allianz Stadium at the end of the season after five hugely successful years in charge, during which time Juve won five Serie A titles and reached two Champions League finals.

Allegri's last match is against Sampdoria on the final day of the league season on Sunday, but the 51-year-old, who has already discussed his exit at length, saw no need for an extended meeting with the media.

"There is nothing to talk about," he said. "I am here to greet you, give you the team and go."

Star striker Ronaldo has been included in Portugal's squad for the Nations League Finals next month and Allegri said it was important for the former Real Madrid man to rest.

However, it does mean he cannot finish as Serie A's top scorer as he is already five goals behind current leading marksman Fabio Quagliarella.

Moise Kean - reportedly set for a new deal - and Paulo Dybala, who insisted this week that he wants to stay in Turin, will instead start up front.

Meanwhile, Wojciech Szczesny is being assessed for a knee injury and will miss out.

Allegri named Matheus Pereira in his XI but added that Leonardo Spinazzola will instead start if he is available on Sunday.

The departing coach, who was sporting a new-look shaven head, added: "Let's go for a good game and finish in style against a team that have a great season - we must also acknowledge [Sampdoria coach Marco] Giampaolo for his work.

"Then we go to the beach and get some sun. I have been told to take my sun cream, protection 50."

He told the media: "I thank you all. Now we say goodbye and I will make a toast together with you all at the end of the season."

Paulo Dybala has disputed his brother's suggestion that he could be set to leave Juventus and insists he wants to stay at the Serie A champions.

The Argentina international appeared ready to depart Turin when his brother and agent Gustavo claimed there was a "good chance" of a move as the forward "needs a change".

But, despite making just 23 league starts in 2018-19 following Cristiano Ronaldo's arrival at Juve, Dybala has dismissed his brother's comments, stating they do not reflect his feelings.

"[My brother] spoke for himself," Dybala told Sky Sport Italia.

"I talked to the club and sporting director Fabio Paratici and they know what I think. I want to stay at Juventus again next year, I want to continue playing here.

"It is obvious that Juventus must make their choices, make the team based around the coach that will arrive, but I want to stay here."

A potential switch to rivals Inter was put to Dybala but he would not comment on the speculation.

"I have a lot of respect for this shirt and for these fans," he said. "I won't talk about other teams because it would show a lack of respect."

Juve are yet to appoint a new head coach to replace Massimiliano Allegri, who will oversee his final game in charge against Sampdoria this weekend.

Giorgio Chiellini still holds Antonio Conte in high regard and the Juventus defender would "hate" to see his former club and international boss take charge at Inter.

Conte, out of work since leaving Premier League side Chelsea at the end of the 2017-18 campaign, has been tipped to take over from Luciano Spalletti at San Siro following the conclusion of the season.

The ex-Italy manager has not been in charge of a Serie A club since leaving Juve for the national team in 2014 after guiding the Bianconeri to three successive league titles.

Chiellini was a key part of those championship-winning teams and he is uncomfortable with the possibility of Conte coaching one of Juve's major rivals.

"I would hate to see him there, but it's part of life," the defender told Tuttosport.

"I understand that they are professionals, but to see him at Inter would make me [feel] weird.

"It is not a criticism, everyone knows that with Antonio I have a special relationship.

"What can I say, I hope everything goes well for him, but nothing can win at Inter.

"It is the truth, so much so that when he coached Chelsea I rooted for him. At Inter, I can't do it, really..."

Massimiliano Allegri has claimed his Juventus successor will be "a manager of Manchester" amid speculation linking Pep Guardiola with a shock move to Turin.

On Thursday, Italian news agency AGI reported Manchester City boss Guardiola had agreed a four-year contract worth €24million annually to take over at Serie A champions Juve, claiming the deal will be announced on June 4 before a presentation 10 days later.

Speaking before City completed an unprecedented domestic treble by hammering Watford 6-0 in last weekend's FA Cup final, Guardiola insisted he had no intention of moving to Juventus and club board member Alberto Galassi told Sky Italia the renewed reports were "a load of nonsense".

However, Allegri made a mischievous contribution to the saga when he attended a restaurant opening in Dairago, Milan.

Local newspaper Sport Legnano reported Allegri was asked by a Juventus fan who the club's next head coach would be and he replied: "A manager of Manchester is coming."

Allegri confirmed last week he would leave Juventus after guiding them to a fifth consecutive Scudetto this term.

Success in the Champions League proved elusive for the former AC Milan boss, however, with Ajax ending the Italian club’s interest at the quarter-final stage this time around, following final losses to Barcelona and Real Madrid respectively in 2015 and 2017 finals.

Guardiola has two years remaining on his current City contract and has swept to five of the previous six major domestic honours on offer in England.

Giorgio Chiellini has hailed Cristiano Ronaldo as "a deity" who has helped Juventus cope with Gianluigi Buffon's departure last year.

The Bianconeri pulled off a coup in July when they lured five-time Ballon d'Or winner Ronaldo to Turin after nine trophy-laden years with Real Madrid.

Ronaldo scored 21 goals in 31 games in his first season in Serie A as Juve retained the Scudetto while the 34-year-old Portuguese also netted six times during the team's run to the Champions League quarter-finals.

Chiellini feels Juve needed a player of Ronaldo's stature after Buffon departed for Paris Saint-Germain.

"He is a deity, a superior entity," Chiellini told Tuttosport.

"It was very important to fill the void that Gigi left.

"Cristiano was an example for everyone, with his dedication to work. He integrated perfectly into the city."

Though Massimiliano Allegri guided Juventus to an eighth successive Serie A title, it was announced last week that he was leaving the club having won the Scudetto in each of his five campaigns at the helm.

Given that success, Chiellini would not be surprised to see the 51-year-old return to the Allianz Stadium in the future.

"He probably did something unrepeatable," Chiellini added.

"That's why I wouldn't be surprised to see him again at Juve in a few years.

"The love that Max has for Juventus and vice versa is so great that tomorrow they can be found again quietly."

Miralem Pjanic has praised Massimiliano Allegri for "making everything work in the best way" during his time in charge at Juventus.

Allegri will take charge of Juve for the final time on Sunday when the Serie A champions travel to Sampdoria, bringing the curtain down on his hugely successful tenure in Turin.

The former AC Milan boss has won the league five times and also the Coppa Italia on four occasions since taking over in 2014.

Pjanic arrived from Roma two years into Allegri's reign but has been impressed by the way the Italian has continually pushed a star-studded squad to get better.

"We are a fantastic group and I have to congratulate our coach, who has always managed to make everything work in the best way," he said at a club event on Thursday at the Allianz Stadium.

"With him, we managed to win. In football you always have to work to improve, I have always had this mentality."

Allegri departs after Juve once again failed to crack the Champions League, losing at the quarter-final stage to Ajax despite the presence of Cristiano Ronaldo.

On the Portuguese superstar, Pjanic added: "His concentration levels have always been out of the ordinary, both when things are going well and also when that's not the case."

The Bosnia-Herzegovina international – who has been linked with a move to Paris Saint-Germain – also revealed he turned down the chance to represent France, having moved to the country as a teenager to join Metz.

"I left my country, Bosnia, very young because of the coming war. I lived in Luxembourg, a very small country, then I moved by myself to France, still young, to follow the dream of football," Pjanic explained.

"I am happy to have chosen to play for Bosnia even if I could have played for France instead. I was only 18 at the time and [France coach] Raymond Domenech called me to see what my plans were.

"I went to see a Bosnia-Denmark game when I was 13 and from that moment on, I knew I wanted to represent Bosnia."

A report that Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has agreed to take over Juventus is "a load of nonsense", according to a member of the Premier League champions' board.

Italian news agency AGI claimed on Thursday that Juve had reached an agreement with Guardiola for him to succeed Massimiliano Allegri, whose departure was announced last week, as head coach.

According to the outlet, the Catalan was set to sign a four-year deal worth €24million per season with the Bianconeri on June 4 and be presented to the media 10 days later.

However, City Football Group executive Alberto Galassi categorically rejected the rumour and stated Guardiola wishes to stay at the Etihad Stadium, something the manager said himself prior to last weekend's FA Cup final against Watford.

"As a Manchester City board member, I was very surprised to read such a load of nonsense," Galassi told Sky Sport Italia.

"Firstly, our coach wants to stay and has another two years on his contract. Secondly, any club like Juventus would never have allowed the release of such news.

"It is not possible to think that there will be a presentation in a few days and that City is unaware of it before they have even contacted us. It is totally groundless and false.

"[Guardiola] is a great professional and he can't believe his words are not listened to. He does not want to leave. Therefore, the problem does not exist because the whole matter does not exist."

Galassi confirmed he has spoken with Juve vice-chairman Pavel Nedved about the rumours.

He added: "We had a laugh. We both realised the issue had become ridiculous. I'm sorry for Juventus fans, but they will need to find another coach. Let Pep enjoy his holidays."

Former Juventus boss Alberto Zaccheroni believes the Turin club's fans will look back fondly on Massimiliano Allegri in years to come.

The 51-year-old Allegri is set to leave the Allianz Stadium at the end of the season after five successful campaigns in which they were crowned Serie A champions each year.

He had previously been a rival of Juve at AC Milan and replaced club legend Antonio Conte in charge in 2014, while some fans have grown frustrated with the team's style of play this season and their inability to win the Champions League.

But Zaccheroni, who was head coach in 2010, believes Allegri will become a popular figure down the line.

"Allegri has been great," he told Omnisport.

"You can achieve success in different ways, but Allegri wants balance and looks after the defence and the attack, just like Antonio Conte. Maybe there are differences in intensity.

"Conte has always been a Juventus icon and managed to take Juventus back to their level and this leads to the fans loving him more than Allegri. Juventus fans will love Allegri in the future…"

One of the names touted as a potential replacement for Allegri is Lazio boss Simone Inzaghi, whom Zaccheroni coached during his playing days at the capital club.

The 66-year-old admits he has been taken aback by seeing Inzaghi forge a successful coaching career.

"Having managed him as a player, he didn't look so determined," Zaccheroni said. "I remember he was very passionate about football. But I didn't expect him to become a manager. He lacked determination.

"He had quality as a player although he could have achieved much more. He still had a very decent career, but I didn't see that determination in him that he could pass on to his players."

Jorginho said he would be surprised if Chelsea head coach Maurizio Sarri left the Premier League club amid links to Juventus.

Sarri led Chelsea to a third-place finish in the Premier League and the Europa League final in his first season in charge at Stamford Bridge.

However, a return to Serie A has been mooted for the former Napoli boss – who has emerged as a possible replacement for Massimiliano Allegri at Serie A holders Juve.

Jorginho – who followed Sarri to Chelsea from Napoli – was asked if he would continue his relationship with the 60-year-old if he departed London and the Italy midfielder told Sky Sport Italia: "I have four years on my contract with Chelsea.

"I'd be surprised he did leave, because we are third in the Premier League behind Manchester City and Liverpool, we're in the Europa League Final and reached the Carabao Cup Final.

"It has been a positive season. Sarri is relaxed, even more so now than in other stages of the campaign."

Sarri's Chelsea are set to face London rivals Arsenal in the Europa League final in Baku on May 29.

"It's an international final of a prestigious competition and we are working well to be ready for it," said Jorginho. "We must believe in our football and know that we can do it. There are great players here and we can bring the trophy home."

Jorginho, who arrived in a reported £50million transfer at the start of the 2018-19 season, added: "It will be our 63rd competitive match of the season and obviously those start to weigh on you. I see this as a very positive campaign.

"It's only natural that at a club like Chelsea, there is going to be all this pressure. There will always be criticism, but I remained calm and relaxed.

"I'll always have something new to learn and I've seen consistent growth throughout the season."

Arsenal opted against offering Aaron Ramsey a new contract because matching his wage demands would have been "very harmful" to the squad's dynamic, head of football Raul Sanllehi says.

Ramsey will join Juventus on a free transfer on July 1 after accepting a deal in February that, according to some reports in the UK, will see him earn as much as £400,000 per week.

Sanllehi says it would have been irresponsible for Arsenal to match the "incredible" offers Ramsey received from other clubs when he entered the final year of his contract, even though the player himself was keen to stay at Emirates Stadium.

Gunners director Sanllehi pointed to unnamed rivals where salary discrepancies have proved a disruption within the team and threatened to damage the interests of the club as a whole.

"One of the key things for me - and I've seen that happening in other clubs - one of the key things is to keep the rationality in the salary balance of the team," he told Arsenal's website. 

"Because of our circumstances, because of not renewing Aaron on time, we were in a situation in which Aaron had incredible offers building up on the salary.

"He was really keen on staying with us, he was ready to make the effort but at the end of the whole process we had to be responsible for ourselves and protect the interests of Arsenal. We realised we were going to cause an imbalance that would have been very harmful for the team's sake in the medium and longer term."

Sanllehi says plans are firmly in place for the transfer window, however, as Arsenal look to replace Ramsey and strengthen their squad.

Only a victory in next week's Europa League final will see them return to the Champions League next season, but Sanllehi thinks the lure of the Gunners will be enough to convince top targets to join regardless.

"What I can tell you is that we have identified very clearly and unanimously with our head coach and technical people, we know what we want to prioritise and we're very clear on what our priorities are," he said. 

"We're already in the market and we're already talking with the people that can help us to cover those positions and I feel quite strong.

"It's going well and the image that Arsenal has in the football world is very strong. I do believe that we have a very good plan to cover those positions to be much stronger next year to deliver the success that we're all hoping for.

"We are a reference in the football world, so when Arsenal knocks on the door of players it's a different knock than other clubs. Of course, the fact that we have not been in the Champions League for two years and we are in question marks now for the next year, that's not helpful. But again, the image of Arsenal is strong enough to help us build a case about all the model we are bringing up, the new era that we are bringing up. It's very exciting."

Sanllehi also expects the club to appoint a new technical director soon, with former midfielder Edu said to be among the candidates.

"That role is really crucial in the whole model," he added. "We are hoping to be able to get that covered very soon… we are only missing that piece. Surely we are going to be able to cover for him in the short term but when we are talking mid-term and long term we really need that position."

Maurizio Sarri has told Chelsea's hierarchy that if his future at the club depends on winning the Europa League then he would rather leave "immediately".

Italian coach Sarri only joined Chelsea from Napoli at the start of the season and initially looked to have made an impact, as the Blues' Premier League campaign began strongly.

But fan discontent grew amid poor form and Sarri came under pressure after the turn of the year, with media reports suggesting he was close to being sacked.

Sarri managed to cling on and performances towards the end of the season improved, securing a third-place finish in the Premier League and a spot in the Europa League final.

A return to Italy has been mooted, with the coach reportedly in danger of being dismissed if Chelsea do not win the Europa League, but Sarri thinks such a scenario would be unfair.

When asked if he feels it would be right for his job to depend on one game, Sarri told a news conference: "If the situation is like this, I want to go immediately.

"You cannot have 10 months of work and then I have to play [for] everything in 90 minutes like this, it is not right.

"You are happy about my work, or you are not happy."

Despite the links to Juventus and Roma, Sarri insists he is eager to stay at Chelsea, pointing out he has two years left on his contract at Stamford Bridge.

"My future is Wednesday, I think," he said. "I need to think only about the final at this moment. I have two years of contract here, so I have no contact with other clubs at the moment. 

"I have to speak at my club first of all after the final. I want to know if they are happy with me or not. That is it. I have two more years of contract

"As you know, I like very much at the moment the Premier League. It's the most important championship in the world. It's very exciting being here, but now it's time only to think of the final.

"I am very happy to stay in the Premier League. Chelsea is one of the most important clubs in the Premier League, so I'm really very happy, but we have to discuss the situation. But that's normal, every season you have to discuss the situation with the club, you do it like this."

It was also put to Sarri that he might be happier in Italy, with some critics suggesting his style of play is not suited to the Premier League, a claim he scoffed at.

He said: "I cannot understand why, for my football? I think in the last two years Manchester City won everything in England.

"So, I think the way of football of City is not like mine but similar, so I think we can play my football also in England."

Paulo Dybala and Sergio Aguero have been included in Argentina's squad for the 2019 Copa America, but Mauro Icardi misses out after a difficult few months at Inter.

Icardi has failed to impress this year at club level, with a combination of contractual issues and injuries seeing him left out of the team and stripped of the captaincy.

He scored for only the second time in 2019 during Inter's 4-1 defeat to Napoli on Sunday, but both of those goals have come from the penalty spot and he did little to catch the eye in general.

Manchester City star Aguero is in the squad, however, returning to the selection for the first time since Argentina's disappointing World Cup campaign, when he scored two goals in four games.

Aguero has enjoyed another strong season at club level and will be confident of transferring that form to the Copa, where he will be joined with City team-mate Nicolas Otamendi.

Dybala also makes the cut despite an underwhelming campaign with Juventus, in which he seemed to suffer from the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo.

Lionel Messi is expected to captain the team as one of the senior stars, while Matias Suarez – also 31 years of age – is a surprise inclusion among the strikers, with the River Plate man having won his only two senior caps this year.

There is also a shock in defence, with Milton Casco chosen ahead of Gabriel Mercado, a mainstay over the past few years.

Manchester United pair Sergio Romero and Marcos Rojo also miss out.

Argentina will play Colombia, Paraguay and Qatar in the group stage of the tournament in Brazil.

 

Argentina squad in full:

Franco Armani (River Plate), Agustin Marchesin (Club America), Esteban Andrada (Boca Juniors); Juan Foyth (Tottenham), Nicolas Tagliafico (Ajax), Renzo Saravia (Racing Club), German Pezzella (Fiorentina), Ramiro Funes Mori (Villarreal), Milton Casco (River Plate), Nicolas Otamendi (Manchester City); Roberto Pereyra (Watford), Leandro Paredes (Paris Saint-Germain), Marcos Acuna (Sporting CP), Angel Di Maria (Paris Saint-Germain), Guido Rodriguez (Club America), Rodrigo De Paul (Udinese), Exequiel Palacio (River Plate), Giovani Lo Celso (Real Betis); Sergio Aguero (Manchester City), Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Matias Suarez (River Plate), Paulo Dybala (Juventus), Lautaro Martinez (Inter).

Page 1 of 52
© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.