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Departing Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri says he isn’t interested in taking a sabbatical in comments that will put some of Europe’s elite clubs on alert.
Allegri signed off after five seasons with the Italian club by lifting the Serie A championship for the fifth time and then said he is already looking for his next challenge.
The 51-year-old, whose departure with one year remaining on his contract was announced by Juventus on Friday, has been linked with the likes of Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich.
Speaking after Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Atalanta, Allegri said: ‘I’m not especially looking for a year off. ‘I’ll only take a sabbatical if I have to. Otherwise my plan is to find a project that convinces me. Life is full of surprises and you need to be ready for everything.
‘I train with joy and fun, because if I’m not persuaded by the squad at my disposal, I try changing things around, moving players into new positions and trying something different, otherwise I get bored.’
Despite his contract situation, Allegri knew he would probably be out of a job following Juve’s defeat by Ajax in the Champions League quarter-finals last month.
The club had spent £100million signing Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid last summer in a bid to conquer Europe following years of domestic dominance.
He said: ‘I spoke with Andrea (Agnelli, Juve president) after Ajax and we had plans to continue, but over the past six weeks or so we all reached the same conclusion.
‘We never got onto the subject of contracts or anything like that, but I realised it was right to move on and change, for the good of Juve, otherwise we would risk reaching September or October and encounter problems, so it was best to leave on a high.
‘I was told [Juve’s decision] on Friday morning. When I left the meeting on Thursday I knew that I was no longer the Juventus coach. I wasn’t told, but I knew.’
Simone Inzaghi, Maurizio Sarri and Sinisa Mihajlovic are in the frame to replace Allegri this summer, but the departing coach was not offering any clues as to his successor. -AFP