There are two camps in Italian journalism who maintain with absolute confidence that Juventus will sign either Maurizio Sarri or Pep Guardiola on Monday.
Since Max Allegri’s dismissal, after winning five consecutive Serie A titles and reaching two Champions League Finals, the search for his replacement has been focused on the Premier League.
There is usually more clarity on the situation than this, but the Bianconeri appear to have split the Italian media right down the middle.
Sportitalia, Sky Sport Italia, Tuttosport and the Corriere dello Sport remain adamant that a deal is done with Sarri, who agreed to terminate his contract with Chelsea by mutual consent after winning the Europa League.
Sarri is expected to fly out to Italy this weekend in any case, as he’s heading off on his summer vacation.
It’s entirely possible that Sarri will be released by Chelsea, but not go to Juventus, as he also has offers from Roma and Milan.
However, another group including Juventus reporter Luca Momblano, financial newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore, Sport Mediaset and La Stampa are continuing to insist Guardiola has agreed to join Juve.
They put forward the idea that Adidas and other sponsors will help Juventus pay for both his release from Manchester City and the huge salary he’d command in Turin.
It’s reported negotiations began in March and a non-binding pre-contract agreement was signed before the Champions League quarter-final defeat to Ajax.
Guardiola is said to be irritated at the imminent UEFA clampdown on Manchester City, which could see their transfer market frozen for two sessions or even their exclusion from the Champions League for one to two years.
It is reported by these sources that Guardiola has a clause in his City contract allowing him to walk away by June 15 if they fail to qualify for the Champions League.
Juventus President Andrea Agnelli, who is also chief of the European Club Association, is rumoured to have asked his UEFA contacts for information on what punishment Manchester City are heading towards, so he can prepare the safety net for Guardiola.
So while these two sections of the media continue to vociferously stand their ground, all we can do is keep you informed of what is being said in Italy – and England – wait and see what happens.
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