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Is Ranieri’s time up at Juve?

Good article in Gazzetta dello Sport about whether it is time for Juventus to replace Claudio Ranieri. The article is below:

The piece of paper is now redundant. This is the first irony: a contract, black on white, ties Claudio Ranieri to Juventus. It expires in June 2010. However, despite that, the only certainty is that Ranieri’s time as Juventus coach is over. He will leave in a month at the most. The feeble performance against Lecce has accelerated everything. The club’s directors are also on the counterattack. The board of directors meets on Wednesday 13 May. No urgent decision will be taken before then. Ranieri will only be coach for the next four games. Ferrara is ready to step in, but only if a heavy defeat to Milan moves everything forward. During this (confused) wait the club’s directors are keeping quiet. There has been just one declaration from president Cobolli Gigli. It was succinct: “I am in total agreement with Blanc and am more than ever a fan of Juventus. I am disappointed, but I still believe that we can finish second.”

The president said nothing else, there being no need. They want solutions and they want them fast. Many ideas are flying around. There is a possibility of Spalletti. Negotiations (albeit informal ones) have already begun, but no agreement has been reached. The club made this clear immediately after the defeat to Lazio. There is no agreement, but an idea that they are exploring and that the club’s owners are particularly keen on. Downsides? Spalletti is now ready to leave Roma, but he earns the grand sum of 2 million euros net per season. Then he would also bring his six person staff to Turin, costing another 1 million euros net per season. Spalletti is a man of experience, a coach capable of challenging Inter’s leadership. They prefer him to Prandelli, who anyway does not want to leave Florence.

There are a number of ideas in the air, including one pushed by some club directors who would prefer an emerging coach . They would prefer Gianpiero Gasperini, the Genoa coach, the miracle maker. “Stuff and nonsense,” replied Enrico Preziosi, Genoa’s president. A joke, but also (primarily) a response to Juventus, which yesterday initiated contacts with Genoa with the aim of convincing the club to let go of its trainer, who is under contract until 2012. It will be discussed again in a few days. Gasperini gained his early coaching experience with the Juventus youth team and will not simply dismiss the idea of returning to Turin. However Gasperini is (above all) a loyal man, with close ties to the Genoa fans and president Preziosi. But, their mutual esteem also means that they cannot close down to any possibility. Preziosi will not stop his trainer from accepting an unrefusable offer from Juventus. Aside from Gasperini there are two other new interesting possibilities, coaches with clear ideas and personalities: Giampaolo from Siena and Ballardini from Palermo. Two new names and a name mostly on the fans’ minds probably:: Antonio Conte. But real decisions need to be made, and quickly. Then comes the contract. However that is just a detail.