Juventus deny Pep link for manager

TURIN • Juventus have poured cold water over rumours that they were planning a dramatic pounce for Pep Guardiola, saying that they had never even spoken to the Manchester City boss.

"It's a strange world, we've not had any contact with Guardiola nor have we ever thought about it given that he's under contract," Juve's sporting director Fabio Paratici told DAZN on Sunday before their 2-0 loss to Sampdoria on the final day of the season.

Juve sealed their eighth straight Serie A title weeks ago but are on the hunt for a new boss after removing Massimiliano Allegri earlier this month, following a Champions League quarter-final exit to Ajax last month. The club are without a Champions League title in over two decades despite signing Cristiano Ronaldo last summer.

Paratici added that Juve would wait until the end of the season to announce Allegri's successor. Chelsea coach Maurizio Sarri and Lazio boss Simone Inzaghi are among the favourites to take over.

STRANGE LINK

It's a strange world, we've not had any contact with Guardiola nor have we ever thought about it given that he's under contract.

FABIO PARATICI, Juve's sporting director, on the Guardiola rumours.

Meanwhile, City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak says the club will "unquestionably prevail" in the investigation into alleged breaches of Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations.

European football's governing body Uefa has referred City to an independent judicial chamber after an investigation opened in March. German publication Der Spiegel reported that the club's Abu Dhabi owners inflated sponsorship agreements to comply with FFP requirements.

"Am I uncomfortable? No. I respect regulatory bodies doing their job and any regulatory process that asks questions," Al Mubarak told the club's website on Sunday.

"I believe, quite comfortably, if the process is going to be judged on facts, then unquestionably we will prevail.

"If it's not about facts and it's about other things, then it is a different conversation."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 28, 2019, with the headline 'Juventus deny Pep link for manager'. Print Edition | Subscribe