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Berlusconi to try to attract former Barcelona coach Guardiola

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Associated Press
11/24/2012 6:30:48 PM
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MILAN, Italy -- AC Milan President Silvio Berlusconi says he will try to attract Pep Guardiola to be the coach.

Berlusconi believes English clubs, and in particular Manchester City, are after the former Barcelona coach, who is on a year's sabbatical after leaving the Spanish champions at the end of last season.

"There are English clubs who keep on pressing for him," Berlusconi said. "Especially City, which has directors who I know well. We will be there but it is difficult."

Massimiliano Allegri is in charge of Milan and led the Rossoneri to the title in 2011 and second place the following season.

However, he has been under fire during this campaign with Milan in 12th place after losing six of its first 13 games.

"It's not a problem that concerns me," Allegri said of Berlusconi's interest in Guardiola. "I have to think of tomorrow's game. I don't want to and I can't decide who will be Milan's coach."

Berlusconi was making another visit on Saturday to Milan's training ground to give the squad a pep talk ahead of Sunday's Serie A match against Juventus.

His visit to the training ground last week had an immediate effect as Milan came back from two goals down to draw 2-2 at title-chasing Napoli. It went on in midweek to secure qualification for the Champions League knockout stage.

"His presence at the club is an important one which encourages us all," Allegri said. "The president has never been so close to the squad as he is now."

Berlusconi also announced plans to lead the club back to the top of Serie A within three years.

However, the Milan chief warned fans against expecting a spending spree despite almost an entire squad's worth of top players having left during the off-season.

"We'll see if we buy a big name but we cannot throw crazy money around in this time of economic crisis," Berlusconi said. "The idea is to rebuild, in a period of three years, a young squad which can have a long cycle.

"Once we have a great team we will look to buy at most one top player a year."

Pep Guardiola (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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