Thursday, March 21, 2019

Guardiola baffled by Juventus rumours

SoccerNews in Serie A 9 Mar 2019

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Pep Guardiola has firmly rejected speculation linking him to Juventus and insists he could stay at Manchester City beyond his current contract.

Il Giornale journalist Luigi Guelpa told Radio CRC that Guardiola had verbally agreed a four-year deal to replace Massimiliano Allegri at the Allianz Stadium from next season.

Allegri presented a united front with Juventus’ owners this week following reports of a rift in the aftermath of their 2-0 loss to Atletico Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie.

However, the five-time Scudetto winner told reporters after Friday’s 4-1 Serie A win over Udinese that Juve had developed an “obsession” with Champions League glory at the expense of acknowledging their considerable achievements elsewhere in his tenure.

This atmosphere of uncertainty has fuelled rumours, with Zinedine Zidane and Allegri’s predecessor Antonio Conte also rumoured to be in the thoughts of the Juventus hierarchy, but Guardiola emphatically ruled himself out of the running when the issue was raised at a news conference following City’s 3-1 Premier League win over Watford.

“I would say, I know today social media has influence,” Guardiola said, before questioning the veracity of the reports.

“But I don’t understand why the media would say, in the biggest pages: ‘Pep for the next four years is going to Juventus’.

“I don’t understand. I don’t understand why the people saying I will go to Juventus won’t call the club or call myself or call my agent, Juventus or Massimiliano Allegri.”

Guardiola signed a contract extension at the Etihad Stadium until 2021 last May after leading City to Premier League and EFL Cup glory in the 2017-18 season.

And he reiterated his commitment despite a week when the club’s financial affairs have become the subject of UEFA and Premier League investigations.

“I am so sorry for Massimiliano Allegri. I have two more years here and I am not going to move – impossible, unless they sack me. Then I go home,” he said.

“But if Manchester City wants me I will stay two more years, by far, and hopefully another one. I am not going to go to Juventus in the next two seasons.”

Guardiola added: “But it’s your problem. If you want to say one day the guy on Twitter says I am going to train in the United States of America and then, after, on the pages of the newspapers I am going to train in the United States of America…what can I say? Nothing.”

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