Soccer-Allegri says he has spent his "last Christmas" as Milan coach

Reuters

Dec 31 (Reuters) - Beleaguered Massimiliano Allegri has spent his "last Christmas" as AC Milan coach, he said in an interview with Gazzetta dello Sport on Tuesday.

Allegri, in his fourth season at the club, has survived a dreadful four months against a backdrop of political manoeuvring at the club, and admitted he had no thoughts of continuing next term.

"This is certainly my last Christmas at Milan, but I have eaten Panettone here once again and to be honest I had no doubt that I would," he said, referring to the constant speculation about his future since early this season.

"I don't know who will be the next coach and it's not really my problem," he added.

Milan reached the Christmas break in 13th place in Serie A with only 19 points from 17 games, and a mere four wins to their credit. They are 17 points adrift of Napoli who are in third place, which earns a place in the Champions League playoff round.

They also performed erratically in the Champions League, winning only two group games, but managed to qualify for the last 16 and ironically are Italy's only survivors in the competition.

"Realistically, I don't know how far we can go in Europe, but we have a good chance of getting to the quarter-finals," said Allegri whose side face Atletico Madrid in the last 16. "A lot can change between now and February."

In another interview with Sky Sports Italia, Allegri admitted: "The last four months in the championship have been disastrous.

"For the new year, we must try and reach third place. It's a huge gap but we have to do all we can to get as many points as possible, even knowing that it will be difficult."

(Writing by Brian Homewood; editing by Toby Davis) (Reuters Messaging: brian.homewood.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net. To sign up for our Global Sports Forum chatroom, click on https://forms.thomsonreuters.com/global_sports_forum))

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