Allegri's future in the air amid speculation on Conte return

ABS-CBN Sports on May 10, 2019 07:52 AM
Allegri's future in the air amid speculation on Conte return
FILE - In this Wednesday, April 10, 2019 filer, Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri stands on the touchline before the Champions League quarterfinal, first leg, soccer match between Ajax and Juventus at the Johan Cruyff ArenA in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri s future is up in the air with speculation continuing to mount that he will leave at the end of the season and could be replaced by Antonio Conte. Juventus has already won the Serie A title and Allegri is using the extra time to sort out his plans. His contract at Juventus expires at the end of the season. Conte has been out of a job since being fired by Chelsea last year but could be set for a return to Italian football. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, File)

By Daniella Matar, Associated Press

MILAN (AP) — Juventus has little to play for now, and coach Massimiliano Allegri is using his pressure-free time to think about his future.

The 51-year-old Allegri has won five straight league titles, four Italian Cups and two Italian Super Cups in five seasons at Juventus. However, the Champions League continues to elude the team, which reached the final in 2015 and 2017.

This was supposed to be Juve's year after it signed Cristiano Ronaldo, but the club lost to Ajax in the quarterfinals and Allegri said the disappointment is "worse this year than other times."

Allegri's contract expires at the end of the season.

"We need to analyze what has gone well and what has not gone well and plan the future," Allegri said. "Every year people say I'm leaving and then I stay. And this time we have the advantage of an extra month to plan."

Juventus visits Roma on Sunday before hosting Atalanta the following week. Both teams are battling for a Champions League berth. Atalanta currently occupies fourth place and the final qualifying position but has only three points more than Roma and AC Milan.

Juventus travels to Sampdoria for its final game of the season, which could also be Allegri's final game in charge.

Allegri could end up being replaced by the man he took over from.

Antonio Conte left Juventus in 2014 after guiding the club to three straight Serie A titles. He went on to coach the Italian national team before taking over at Chelsea in 2016.

During his two-year tenure with the English club, the 49-year-old Conte won the Premier League and FA Cup but was fired in June 2018.

Speculation has grown that Conte is set to return to Italian soccer and Roma seemed his most likely destination with current coach Claudio Ranieri only in a caretaker role following Eusebio Di Francesco's firing.

However, that is the only club Conte has publicly ruled out.

"I fell in love with Rome, spending a lot of time there in my two years as Italy coach. You feel the passion at the Olimpico. But today the conditions for me to coach Roma aren't there," Conte told Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport. "But I think one day, sooner or later, I'll coach Roma."

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