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Wednesday 26 June 2019

Mauricio Pochettino made No 1 target by Juventus to replace Massimiliano Allegri as next manager

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino. Photo: Dylan Martinez/Reuters
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino. Photo: Dylan Martinez/Reuters

Miguel Delaney

Juventus see Mauricio Pochettino as their preferred candidate to replace Max Allegri, but increasingly feel that either Maurizio Sarri or Simone Inzaghi are more realistic options this summer.

Allegri resigned this week after five successful years at the club, and the hierarchy would ideally want a manager who has similar charisma, and could command the respect of a dressing room with many influential players from South America leading it.

Pochettino would completely fit the bill, although – like Real Madrid and Manchester United before them – Juventus accept that will be an exceptional difficult prospect given his situation with Tottenham.

The Italian champions insist they are in no rush to hire a new manager, and some at the club feel the situation regarding the Argentine could change after the Champions League final against Liverpool.

Juventus do feel Pochettino wants to manage them at some point in the future and there have been persistent whispers from the Spurs dressing room – to go with the manager’s own more light-hearted comments around the Champions League semi-final – that there is a small chance he could leave this summer.

More serious sources at the club maintain it’s nonsense, not least because he is tied to a five-year contract.

It is for these reasons Juventus think Sarri or Inzaghi are far more realistic targets. Sarri’s future at Chelsea remains unclear, and will be decided after next Wednesday’s Europa League final.

Juventus have already made their interest clear, after what has been a somewhat ill-tempered season in England for the Neapolitan, despite meeting all his major targets.

Chelsea have again qualified for the Champions League and reached the final of the Europa League, but Sarri’s football has not been popular with much of the Stamford Bridge crowd.

The season has also seen a series of mild controversies, such as goalkeeper Kepa Arrizalabaga’s refusal to come off in the League Cup final.

Inzaghi has meanwhile proven a progressive and modern coach with Lazio, and could be relatively easy to do a deal for.

Sources close to Juventus meanwhile maintain that the idea of going for Jose Mourinho has not really taken off.

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