Juventus boss Max Allegri says he turned down Real Madrid prior to the Spanish giants appointing Julen Lopetegui as their new boss.
Lopetegui was sensationally sacked as Spain coach on Wednesday , just two days before La Roja’s first World Cup match against Portugal in Sochi.
That came a day after he’d agreed to take over as Real boss at the end of the tournament, with the Spanish FA extremely unhappy that he had done so without notifying them sooner.
Spain have appointed the former Real defender Fernando Hierro as manager for the tournament, with Lopetegui sent home to presumably begin his Bernabeu career sooner.
But according to Allegri, he clearly wasn’t the first choice.
“Let’s say I said yes to Juventus,” Allegri told Sky Sport Italia when asked if Madrid had approached him.
“I spoke to the (Real) president (Florentino Perez) once, and I said that out of respect for the (Juve) president (Andrea Agnelli), to whom I’d given my word, and to Juventus, that I’d be staying at Juventus.
“It was a decision I’d already taken, and even if other things can happen in life I’d say that I made the decision to stay at Juventus and respected what I’d said, without considering other options.
“I have to thank the Real Madrid president though, for giving me the chance to go there.”
Allegri was also pressed on whether or not Chelsea had contacted him.
“Let’s just say that the decision to stay at Juventus had already been taken, while thanking the ones who sought me out,” he said.
“I’ve always said that the president will be the first to know if I want to leave, and the president will have to tell me if he wants to make a change.
“The Juventus project is renewed every year, and every year is competitive. Then Juventus is one of the strongest teams in the world.
“In any case, Juventus have been among the best in Europe for the past four years and we think we can continue to better what we started four years ago.
“I’m very happy to do that, together with the president, together with [general manager Beppe] Marotta, [sporting director Fabio] Paratici and [Vice-President Pavel] Nedved and with all those who work at Juventus.
“Juventus is still an ambitious club, and the President even more so.”