Lippi contradicts boss over exit strategy

MILAN - Italy coach Marcello Lippi contradicted his own boss over his future on Monday, saying whether he stayed in the job could depend on results at the World Cup.

"I haven't said that I'll leave after South Africa," Lippi, whose contract runs out after June's finals, told reporters.

"Now I'm only thinking about the World Cup. First let's concentrate fully on the World Cup and then who knows. It depends on results."

However, Italian football federation chief Giancarlo Abete, at the same meeting of Italian coaches, had very different ideas.

"We have a positive relationship with Lippi and I've said that there will be total clarity over the national coach's job before we leave for South Africa," he said.

Abete is keen to avoid the same situation as Euro 2008 when then Italy boss Roberto Donadoni signed a contract extension during the tournament only to be sacked when the Azzurri went out in the quarter-finals.

Fiorentina boss Cesare Prandelli is interested in the Italy job while Chelsea's Carlo Ancelotti, AS Roma's Claudio Ranieri and Manchester City's Roberto Mancini have said they would like to be national coach but not in the immediate future.