Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

JUVE TELL CHELSEA: HANDS OFF ALLEGRI; Italian Club Insist Their 'Great Rapport' with Coach Means He Will Snub bluesHands off Allegri

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

JUVE TELL CHELSEA: HANDS OFF ALLEGRI; Italian Club Insist Their 'Great Rapport' with Coach Means He Will Snub bluesHands off Allegri

Article excerpt

Byline: Simon Johnson Football Correspondent

JUVENTUS chief executive Giuseppe Marotta has told Chelsea to forget about trying to make Massimiliano Allegri their coach in the summer.

Allegri has become one of the favourites for the post after Chelsea's firstchoice target, Pep Guardiola, agreed to manage Manchester City next season.

Diego Simeone is also high up on the wish-list but the Argentine will take some convincing to leave Atletico Madrid. The La Liga club's president Enrique Cerezo has also insisted he is going nowhere.

That has put Allegri, who has 16 months left on his deal at Juventus, even further in the frame at Stamford Bridge.

But Marotta said: "We have a great rapport with Allegri. Contracts are not as important as the relationships between people.

"With Allegri, the conditions are all there to continue. The team are doing well and improving a great deal. The crucial moment of the season is coming up, so we should focus on that.

"I believe that in a corporate structure such as ours the role of coach is of very high importance, so I am opposed to having a coach who is set to leave the club."

Allegri impressed in his first season at Juventus last term by leading them to the Italian League and Cup Double. He also took the side to the Champions League Final, which they lost 3-1 to Barcelona.

Despite a poor start this term, the 48-year-old is still on course to retain the title after a run of 14 straight wins lifted Juventus to within two points of leaders Napoli yesterday.

Allegri, who is learning English, is not the only Italian Chelsea are looking at as Antonio Conte is also in contention.

Marotta believes Conte is a more realistic option for the Blues because his contract with Italy runs out after Euro 2016. …

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