LIPPI TO STEP DOWN
Thursday, 29 April 2004
by Nadia Carminati
Marcello Lippi has revealed he is stepping down as Juventus coach at the end of the season.
The well-respected Italian boss has been linked with the Tottenham post but a more likely option is that he could replace Giovanni Trapattoni at the Azzurri helm.
Although he has another year remaining on his contract at Stadio delle Alpi, Lippi has decided it is the right time to be quitting the Turin giants.
"It has been fantastic," he told Ansa. "But I think it's time for me to step aside.
"I've refused other contracts. Many clubs have contacted me but I've refused.
"I've had fantastic players and they will surely achieve other things with a new coach.
"I have been here ten years. The club wanted to convince me to stay but I said 'no'."
The 56-year-old has also been mentioned in connection with the Real Madrid job and he will have no shortage of suitors during the close season after a distinguished coaching career in Italy.
Monaco boss Didier Deschamps has long been touted as the obvious replacement for Lippi at the Juve helm.
However, general manager Luciano Moggi did suggest recently that he felt the Frenchman still needed more experience before returning to the Bianconeri, even though he did also state, at the same time, that the present incumbent would definitely not be leaving.
Parma's Cesare Prandelli is rumoured to be another man in the frame.