MILAN - With Inter Milan a win away from the Serie A title, talk after AC Milan's 1-1 draw with Juventus on Sunday inevitably focused on the futures of coaches Carlo Ancelotti and Claudio Ranieri. Inter were also held, 2-2 at Chievo, but with a seven-point lead and three games left their fourth successive scudetto is all but sealed. Ancelotti, who has a year left on his Milan contract, has been continually linked with Chelsea for next season despite his denials and club bosses saying they would like him to stay. Rumours before kick off at the San Siro said Ancelotti would make an announcement after the game, but the 49-year-old laughed off the suggestion. "It's a hoax, it won't be the first and it won't be the last," he told reporters. Asked who he would choose as his replacement, Ancelotti said: "It's not my problem and I don't believe it's the moment to make that decision." Milan, fifth last term, also struggled at the start of this campaign but five straight wins before Sunday have boosted confidence they can challenge at home and abroad next season. "I love Italian football, even with the controversies," the former Juve coach added. "Tonight we could not play with fluidity and the spaces were always closed down." Juve's Ranieri was thrilled with the battling point even though it extended their winless league run to six with fourth-placed Fiorentina now just three behind in the race for the last automatic Champions League spot. Media reports have said Ranieri will be sacked at the end of the season but he is remaining calm. "We'll pick up some points, work hard and then we'll see," he said when asked about his future. "A coach is used to criticism and he must accept it." Forward Alessandro Del Piero only came on as a late substitute to rack up his 600th Juve appearance. Ranieri denied speculation the pair had fallen out. "At the moment I look most at physical fitness. I have seen the captain a bit under par," he said. Ranieri added that he had been consulted on plans for next season with Juve poised to announce the signings of Werder Bremen's Diego and Fabio Cannavaro from Real Madrid.
11 May 2009
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