Japan Coach Alberto Zaccheroni maintains he does “not feel like a candidate” to succeed Cesare Prandelli for Italy.
The former Udinese, Milan, Inter and Juventus boss is one of the favourites to take over the Azzurri if Prandelli walks away after the 2014 World Cup.
Zac will be in Brazil for the tournament, as his Japan became the first side to earn qualification.
“How does it feel to be linked with the Italy bench? Let me finish the World Cup with Japan, as that is all I’m thinking about right now,” he told TMW.
“The rumours are flying around, but it is better to talk about concrete things. Today I am Coach of Japan.
“I do not feel like a candidate, as I am focusing on what I need to do, which is take part in the World Cup.”
Among his ‘Blue Samurai’ stars is Keisuke Honda, the CSKA Moscow man who is widely expected to join Milan in January.
“Japanese football has grown and there will be many other players who’ll join big clubs. The Bundesliga, for example, is full of great quality Japanese players. This football wants to keep growing.”
Today there will be the Derby d’Italia and Zaccheroni has been at the helm of both clubs.
“I expect Inter to be in good shape, as they proved in recent outings. Now it is only right to expect their confirmation of the progress achieved so far.
“In all honesty, I like both sides, so may the best team win. Today I think the best are Juventus, because they are a more consolidated squad. Inter will play with real motivation and I think it’ll be a great game.”