Gigi Delneri has confirmed that Sunday’s match against Napoli will be his last in charge of Juventus after being dismissed by the Turin club.Delneri, 60, joined Juve in May 2010 after guiding Sampdoria to fourth in Serie A, earning the Genoese outfit a spot in the Champions League qualifying rounds.
But the veteran coach’s stay at the Stadio Olimpico di Torino will not extend beyond one disappointing season.
Juve are seventh in the table and must defeat third-placed Napoli in their final match of the season on Sunday, while also hoping Roma lose, if they are to sneak into the Europa League.
Expected to challenge for the Scudetto or at least gain Champions League qualification with a top-four finish, the team’s underwhelming performance led Juve officials to axe Delneri on Wednesday.
“There will be a new coach at Juventus next season,” Delneri said ahead of the visit of Napoli.
“The club informed me of its decision on Wednesday. I accept this choice, even if I’d do everything again.”
“Juve did not have the time to wait for change and gradual improvement. As for me, if a door closes behind me then another can open up”
“I was proud to be given the Juventus job initially, which is why I gave up on the Champions League with Sampdoria.”
“I was happy with the arrival of Fabio Quagliarella and Alberto Aquilani … and Vincenzo Iaquinta’s form. Then the collapse in January changed the season. Injuries affected everything.”
“The club asked me to get the best results we could and I told them the Scudetto was a big ask, especially after so many changes. I did understand that a club like Juve must always push to win.”
Delneri also made no secret of the fact that his impending departure is not a mutual decision.
“Personally, I would’ve confirmed myself for next season, especially as I have a contract for another 12 months,” he said.
“In any case, I can never consider this experience to be a personal defeat. The Bianconeri bench helped me to mature as a coach.”
“The lads were splendid and very easy to lead. I discovered a new environment that helped me to grow. I don’t have to prove anything to anyone, so life goes on.”
Siena coach Antonio Conte, a former Juve favourite as a player, is widely tipped to be named as Delneri’s replacement.