MILAN — Massimiliano Allegri has confirmed his intention to wait until the summer before returning to management.
The 52-year-old, who remains under contract at Juventus until the end of the season, has been linked with many top jobs that have become available since his five-year spell in Turin drew to a close in the summer.
Asked if he’s hungry to get back into the game, Allegri, speaking in an exclusive interview with ESPN FC, ruled out taking a job in-season, saying: “In June. I don’t know if you can call it a sabbatical or not. Giovanni [Branchini] and I immediately came to that decision. As soon as the relationship with Juventus came to an end the decision was to take a year out.”
Apart from the three months between his stints at AC Milan and Juventus, Allegri has hardly had a break since he got his start in football.
“I had 18 years as a player and I’ve been in coaching for 16. I stopped this year after 34. I’m happy. I have a chance to reflect, go and talk to people, do things in my private life that I’m passionate about like going to the theatre, some art exhibitions, reading books,” he said.
The six-time Scudetto-winning coach is continuing to work on his English.
“I am taking lessons here in Milan. I manage to speak quite well. I find the listening part a bit more difficult. If I’m talking to someone who helps me out by speaking a little slower then I understand. I watch films [in English] and if I read something in English I understand it fine,” he said.
Sources had previously told ESPN FC that it was Allegri’s intention to take a sabbatical this season, confirming that he had no intentions of taking a new position until the summer.
A number of high-profile jobs have come open since Allegri left his post in Turin. Most notably, Arsenal and Bayern Munich are are using interim managers after Unai Emery and Niko Kovac were sacked in the past few months. Manchester United have also reportedly been interested in his services amid a rocky start to the season under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Allegri said when he does return to coaching, he wants to ensure he’s a success.
“Next year will be an important year. Important for the choice I end up making and the need to be prepared for it,” he said. “After a year out and five years at Juventus, I don’t want to go back into the game and do badly. That would do my head in.”