Italy coach Marcello Lippi on Thursday dismissed speculation he would return to Juventus after next year’s World Cup in South Africa.
Lippi, who guided Italy to World Cup glory in Germany three years ago, has a contract with the Italian Football Association until the end of the next tournament.
But the coach who led Juve to five league titles and a Champions League during two previous spells at the club does not want to retrace his steps.
“I’m not going back to Juventus, neither as coach nor as a technical director, have I made myself clear,” he said during a sporting press congress in Milan.
“Whatever anyone says, it’s not true, I’m not going back to Juve.
“The reality is this and this alone … the only truth is that I went to lunch with (Juve general manager ) Blanc just as I go to lunch with (AC Milan vice-president Adriano) Galliani, with the Lazio president (Claudio Lotito) and with (AS Roma general manager) Bruno Conti.
“I’m the coach of the national team and I’m thinking exclusively about that.”