Massimiliano Allegri has rejected speculation he could replace Gian Piero Ventura as Italy coach following the Azzurri’s shock failure to qualify for the World Cup.
Ventura was sacked after a 1-0 aggregate play-off loss to Sweden ensured the 2006 champions lost out on a place at Russia 2018 – the first World Cup Italy will miss in 60 years.
Allegri is reportedly among the front-runners for the post, along with names including former Juve and Italy coach Antonio Conte, Carlo Ancelotti and Roberto Mancini.
But while Allegri would be interested in coaching Italy later in his career, he is keen to stay with Juventus – who are seeking a fourth successive Serie A title under his leadership – for now.
“Italy? Absolutely no,” Allegri told reporters ahead of Sunday’s match at Sampdoria. “I’m happy at Juventus and I want to stay here. We will see about that in the future.
“The national team is a future ambition, but right now I’m only focused on Juventus because we have plenty to do together. I’ll talk about the opportunity in a few years.”
Italy’s failure to qualify for the World Cup will have an impact on Allegri’s team selection for the Sampdoria clash, with veteran goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon left in tears after playing his last match for the Azzurri.
“Tomorrow neither Buffon or [Andrea] Barzagli will start. They are really fine but of course disappointed by the national team result.
“[Juan] Cuadrado and [Miralem] Pjanic? They are available, I will decide tomorrow morning the official lineup. Buffon will return against Barcelona.
“Tomorrow it will be a very tough match, it starts a month and a half of many important games, we have to do our best.
“Rest for [Paulo] Dybala tomorrow against Sampdoria? I’ll evaluate that, maybe [Federico] Bernarderschi will play.”