Soccer: Allegri eyes Italy job amid Prandelli-exit talk
Azzurri coach seen as likely to quit after World Cup04 September, 16:51
Allegri is seen as the favourite to take over if Prandelli quits, along with Japan coach Alberto Zaccheroni.
"It's a dream for a coach. The desire (for everyone) is one day to train their country's national team and it is for me too," Allegri told Sky television. "At the moment I'm at Milan and I'm happy. The national team have an excellent coach and each one of us is staying on their bench.
"The national team is something I aim for, whether it be now, or in five or 10 years, I'd like to do it". According to some Italian media reports, Prandelli could announce that he intends to leave the Azzurri bench to return to club football once his side qualifies for the World Cup.
This could happen as soon as Tuesday, when Italy face the Czech Republic in Turin after Friday's Group B clash against Bulgaria. The Azzurri top the group with 14 points from six games, four points clear of second-placed Bulgaria and five ahead of the third-placed Czechs. According to other reports, however, Prandelli is likely to ask for more time to consider, with the Italian Soccer Federation (FIGC) expected to offer to renew his contract, which expires after the World Cup, in the near future.
The names of Juventus boss Antonio Conte, former Manchester City and Inter Milan coach Roberto Mancini and Zenit St Petersburg coach Luciano Spalletti have also been linked to the Italy job in the media. Whoever gets the job will have a hard act to follow, should Prandelli move on. The 56-year-old took over a national team in disarray after Italy's embarrassing group-stage exit at the 2010 World Cup.
He rejuvenated the side and managed to get them playing an attractive offensive style, even though the current squad has fewer stars than teams of the past.
They finished runners-up at Euro 2012 and came third at the Confederations Cup in June. Furthermore, his charming, modest, intelligent approach and his insistence that the team abide by a code of conduct, with players dropped temporarily if they fail to respect it, has also helped refresh the bond between the national team and the Italian public. Allegri is considered a good contender as his time at Milan, whom he led to the Serie A title in 2011, has given him plenty of experience of top-level international football.
Furthermore his wage demands are seen as likely to be within the budget of the FIGC, which pays Prandelli an annual salary of around 1.2 million euros net.
The same may not be true for Mancini, Spalletti and other high-profile Italian coaches, such as Russia boss Fabio Capello, Monaco coach Claudio Ranieri and Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti.
Former Milan, Lazio, Inter and Juve boss Zaccheroni also has strong credentials after his successful spell with Japan.
He led the Blue Samurai to the 2011 Asian Cup and his side were the first to qualify for the World Cup in Brazil.