Football

Allegri rubbishes Arsenal talk

Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri has dismissed talk that he is being lined up to replace Arsene Wenger as Arsenal's next manager.

Reports have suggested that the Italian has struck a "verbal agreement" with Arsenal to replace Wenger, who has come under increased pressure following last Saturday's 3-1 defeat by Liverpool.

The result has seen Arsenal drop out of the English Premier League's top four with Wenger opting to start Alexis Sanchez on the bench, a move the Frenchman admitted backfired.

But Allegri, speaking after Juventus' 1-1 draw at Udinese yesterday morning (Singapore time), said claims that he is in line to replace Wenger are not true.

"I repeat what I have already said before, it's not true," said the 49-year-old.

"The second thing, even if there was something in it, the first to know and learn my wish to leave would be Juventus.

"I'm contracted until 2018. I'm not the one to decide my future, Juventus will.

"It is they who decide because it's the way I work and have worked previously."

Allegri did admit that he will evaluate his future "when time passes", but insists he has not spoken to his club as yet.

"When time passes, as we did last year, we will evaluate what to do," he said.

"And if these rumours were true, Juventus would be the first to know and I haven't talked to Juventus yet."

Wenger's contract runs out in the summer, with Arsenal 13 points off EPL leaders Chelsea.

Juventus, who are eight points clear at the top of Serie A with 11 games remaining, are on track to win Allegri's third straight Italian title.

They salavaged a point at Udinese yesterday morning after Leonardo Bonucci scored in the 60th minute to cancel out Duvan Zapata's 37th-minute opener.

"We made a lot of mistakes, especially in the first 20 minutes," said Allegri. "On the plus side, we gained a point on Roma, but the championship is not over. Roma can still collect a lot of points." - WIRE SERVICES

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