Former AC Milan and Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri is planning to take his next job outside of Italy, according to Cagliari president Tommaso Giulini. 

Allegri has been without a team since leaving Juve at the end of the 2018-19 season, having led the Bianconeri to five Serie A titles, four Coppa Italia wins and the Champions League final twice in five years at the club. 

The 52-year-old revealed last year he was learning English and has been heavily linked with Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain, while talk of interest from Bayern Munich and Arsenal was rife earlier in the campaign. 

Allegri spent two seasons at Cagliari during his playing career and was their coach between 2008 and 2010. 

Giulini offered him the opportunity to return during the club's centenary year but was rebuffed as Allegri intends to work overseas for the first time in his career.

"I made a bit of a mad phone call towards the end of January, offering Allegri the job, knowing full well it was going to be impossible," Giulini told Sky Sport Italia on Saturday, Cagliari's 100th anniversary. 

"Massimiliano told me his next adventure will be abroad, even if he was fascinated by the proposal of leading Cagliari during our centenary year. 

"I knew even before making the phone call it was going to be improbable." 

Former AC Milan and Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri is planning to take his next job outside of Italy, according to Cagliari president Tommaso Giulini. 

Allegri has been without a team since leaving Juve at the end of the 2018-19 season, having led the Bianconeri to five Serie A titles, four Coppa Italia wins and the Champions League final twice in five years at the club. 

The 52-year-old revealed last year he was learning English and has been heavily linked with Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain, while talk of interest from Bayern Munich and Arsenal was rife earlier in the campaign. 

Allegri spent two seasons at Cagliari during his playing career and was their coach between 2008 and 2010. 

Giulini offered him the opportunity to return during the club's centenary year but was rebuffed as Allegri intends to work overseas for the first time in his career.

"I made a bit of a mad phone call towards the end of January, offering Allegri the job, knowing full well it was going to be impossible," Giulini told Sky Sports on Saturday, Cagliari's 100th anniversary. 

"Massimiliano told me his next adventure will be abroad, even if he was fascinated by the proposal of leading Cagliari during our centenary year. 

"I knew even before making the phone call it was going to be improbable." 

Robert Lewandowski finally completed the Bundesliga set on Saturday, registering a goal against Fortuna Dusseldorf at long last.

The prolific striker had tallied 25 unsuccessful shots in five previous meetings with Dusseldorf, making them the only current top-flight team he had failed to score against in his career.

However, Lewandowski's wait came to an end with his first attempt at the Allianz Arena - and it could not have been more straightforward.

Excellent build-up work by Joshua Kimmich and Thomas Muller set up the Poland international for a simple finish to make it 3-0 for the hosts just before half-time.

Lewandowski, who added another with a cheeky back-heeled finish after the break in Bayern's 5-0 victory, has now recorded a goal against all 18 Bundesliga clubs - including the one he currently plays for.

So, who suffers the most when coming up against him? Opta is able to provide the answer...

HUNGRY LIKE A WOLFSBURG

Poor Wolfsburg top the table of Lewandowski victims; he has scored 20 times against them in 18 appearances, though did draw a blank when they met in December.

Augsburg sit second on the list but at an even better strike-rate, having managed 19 goals in just 15 games.

Lewandowski has bolstered his tally against Schalke this season, grabbing a hat-trick in a 3-0 away triumph back in August before adding another in a 5-0 thrashing after the turn of the year. His exploits in 2019-20 has lifted his total to 17 in 20.

Mainz and Werder Bremen have both conceded 16 in 19 and 18 fixtures respectively when in opposition to the frontman, who sits third on the all-time Bundesliga scoring list.

FAMILIAR FACES MADE TO SUFFER

Before Bayern, there was Borussia Dortmund of course.

Lewandowski started his Bundesliga career at Signal Iduna Park, joining from Lech Poznan for a reported fee of €4.5million back in 2010. It was a bargain buy for Dortmund as they went on to win back-to-back league titles under Jurgen Klopp.

Now, though, BVB are often on the receiving end as the player they helped turn into a superstar shines for their rivals. Lewandowski left on a free to move to Munich in 2014 and has been making his former employers pay ever since.

In 12 league outings against his old club, he has 16 goals. That total includes notching twice in the last two league clashes at the Allianz Arena, games which Bayern have won by an aggregate score of 9-0.

LEW RATIO AGAINST CURRENT CLUB

In contrast to his exploits against Dortmund, Lewandowski found it tougher to score when coming up against the team he now plays for.

His eight Bundesliga contests when facing Bayern yielded a solitary goal - albeit that was the late winner in an April 2012 victory that proved pivotal in the title race.

The following month, he was once again the hero for Dortmund with a hat-trick in a resounding 5-2 triumph in the DFB-Pokal final against the same opposition, in the process completing a domestic double for Klopp's crop.

These days, it is Bayern fans who celebrate Lewandowski's goals - and there have been plenty of them to enjoy this season. With 43 to his name in all competitions, he has already equalled the most productive season of his career.

David Alaba suggested there could be movement on a possible contract extension at Bayern Munich in the coming weeks. 

After Manuel Neuer was recently tied down to fresh terms, Bayern boss Hansi Flick said on Monday he is keen to retain the services of Alaba. 

The versatile Austria international's existing deal is due to expire at the end of next season. 

According to reports, Bayern are willing to offer Alaba a contract until 2025, but the defender's salary demands have led to an impasse with talks more difficult to conduct during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Alaba confirmed he would be happy to stay at the Allianz Arena but is in no rush to get the situation sorted. 

"Look, I try to focus on the essentials, on the games," Alaba told Sky. "It is very good for me. That is where my focus is entirely. 

"We have no deadline. We will see in the coming weeks what will happen next. At the moment, everything is calm." 

The 27-year-old was speaking after Bayern thrashed Fortuna Dusseldorf 5-0 at the Allianz Arena on Saturday to move 10 points clear at the Bundesliga summit, though Borussia Dortmund could cut that back to seven by beating Paderborn on Sunday. 

An own goal from Mathias Jorgensen set them on their way after 15 minutes, with Benjamin Pavard and Robert Lewandowski also on target before half-time. 

Lewandowski added a second before Alphonso Davies rounded off the scoring two minutes later in an emphatic victory. 

"We are very, very ambitious. The mood in the team is really great," said Alaba. 

"We want to win every game, and you can see that too. We are keeping our foot on the gas." 

With converted winger Davies deployed at left-back, Alaba once again featured in the heart of defence. 

He launched a sweeping move that culminated in Lewandowski's first goal and, while he is happy to continue at centre-back, admitted he is still keen to play an attacking role for Bayern. 

"I try to help the team. It's fun to play on this team. I still have an urge to attack that I want to let happen," said Alaba. 

"[Davies] is a super boy. He always wants to learn, listens and enjoys developing himself further." 

Lucas Hernandez sustained an adductor problem during Bayern Munich's demolition of Fortuna Dusseldorf, Hansi Flick has confirmed.

In the only change from the Bayern side that beat title rivals Borussia Dortmund 1-0 on Tuesday, Hernandez replaced Jerome Boateng in the centre of defence.

It was the France international's second start in all competitions this year, having spent three months out with an ankle ligament injury he suffered in October.

Hernandez - an €80million signing from Atletico Madrid ahead of the 2019-20 season - was replaced by Michael Cuisance at half-time on Saturday as Bayern held a 3-0 lead, with Joshua Kimmich moving to centre-back.

Flick revealed the decision was a precautionary measure.

"He had an adductor problem. Considering the score, the risk was too high, we didn't want to take it," said Flick.

An eighth straight Bundesliga title now looks a certainty, while they are in the DFB-Pokal semi-finals and have a 3-0 lead in their Champions League last-16 tie with Chelsea, and Flick praised the mentality of his players.

They took the lead via an own goal from Mathias Jorgensen and extended their advantage through Benjamin Pavard and Robert Lewandowski.

Lewandowski scored his second four minutes into the second half and Alphonso Davies rounded off the scoring in a comprehensive triumph soon after.

"We want to have a successful season but there is still a lot left to play," Flick told Sky.

"It was important to me that we didn't let up after the Dortmund game. I am very, very satisfied, we were very aggressive.

"We push each other in the team because the emotions don't come from the stands, you hear that a little more on the pitch."

Arturo Vidal hopes Barcelona can come through "11 finals" in LaLiga to ensure he ends the season with a ninth successive top-flight title.

Chile international Vidal won four straight Scudetti with Juventus and was a three-time Bundesliga winner after joining Bayern Munich in 2015.

The 33-year-old tasted LaLiga glory with Barca last season and he is keen to repeat the feat in 2019-20.

Spain's top tier is set to return from a three-month hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic on June 11, with Barca sitting two points clear of Real Madrid at the summit with 11 games remaining.

Asked about winning a ninth league title in succession, Vidal said: "Not many players have done this before, so I am so proud of myself.

"I'm really looking forward to winning my ninth at Barcelona, so I will work hard to try to keep making history.

"The 11 matches we have now will be like 11 finals. It will be a difficult challenge as Real Madrid are very close to us, so we just need to focus on winning every single game and also do our best to get prepared for the Champions League as well."

LaLiga clubs will be able to return to full training and use their dressing rooms again from Monday, though strict hygiene protocols will still need to be followed.

"I am so happy to be back in training as the couple of months we have been in lockdown have seemed so long," said Vidal.

"Now it is so good to be on the pitch again with my team-mates. It has been a very tough two months, but now we are training again and it feels really good.

"I feel happy. I had many chats [during the lockdown] with my team-mates from a distance, trying to speak with each other on how we were managing the situation. But now we must prepare ourselves as well as we possibly can ahead of these massive two months we face."

Following the completion of LaLiga, Barca will likely continue their Champions League campaign.

They drew the first leg of their last-16 tie with Napoli 1-1 in February and will host the return match at Camp Nou.

UEFA is yet to confirm its schedule for the remaining Champions League and Europa League fixtures, however.

The Premier League has announced the fourth round of coronavirus testing revealed no further cases of COVID-19.

A total of 1,130 players and club staff were tested on Thursday and Friday as the competition gears towards a resumption amid the health pandemic, having been suspended since March.

Premier League clubs this week returned to contact training and top-flight action is provisionally scheduled to restart on June 17.

Four individuals returned positive results in the previous round of checks, taking the overall total to 12 since the league started its testing programme.

"The Premier League can today confirm that on Thursday 28 May and Friday 29 May, 1,130 players and club staff were tested for COVID-19. Of these, zero have tested positive," a Premier League statement read.

"The Premier League is providing this aggregated information for the purposes of competition integrity and transparency.

"No specific details as to clubs or individuals will be provided by the league and results will be made public after each round of testing."

Bayern Munich faced little resistance as they stormed to a 5-0 victory over Fortuna Dusseldorf to go 10 points clear at the Bundesliga summit.

A 1-0 win against Borussia Dortmund – who play their game in hand against Paderborn on Sunday – last Tuesday gave Bayern a seven-point cushion at the top and they took another step towards an eighth straight title at the Allianz Arena on Saturday.

Mathias Jorgensen bundled a shot from Benjamin Pavard into his own goal in the 15th minute and the World Cup-winning right-back headed home a Joshua Kimmich corner before the half-hour mark.

Robert Lewandowski finished off a sweeping team move two minutes before half-time and added a second within five minutes of the restart, with Alphonso Davies completing the rout two minutes later.

Dusseldorf were unable to keep Bayern out for long. Thomas Muller's delivery to the back post was centred by Serge Gnabry with a brilliant first touch and Pavard's attempt was diverted into the net by Jorgensen.

Goalkeeper Florian Kastenmeier got down to his left to turn a volley from Muller behind, but he was unable to keep out Pavard's powerful header from the resulting corner in the 29th minute.

Bayern scored a brilliant third before half-time. Lewandowski's flick released Kimmich, who cut the ball back to Muller and he teed up the Poland striker to sweep into the net.

Lewandowski doubled his tally by instinctively using his trailing leg to steer Gnabry's driven cross home between the legs of Kastenmeier.

The onslaught continued when Davies dispossessed Kevin Stoger on the edge of the Dusseldorf box and slid a shot underneath Kastenmeier.

Andre Hoffman missed the target with a header and Niko Giesselmann was kept out by Manuel Neuer in rare chances for Dusseldorf, but they were able to stop Hansi Flick's side adding to the score as they continued what looks sure to be a march to glory.

 

What does it mean? Lewandowski completes the set

In his sixth Bundesliga game against Dusseldorf, Lewandowski finally scored his first goal in a meeting with them.

Although he was unable to complete his hat-trick from close range in the 70th minute, the prolific 31-year-old has now been on target against all 18 clubs playing in Germany's top flight this season.

Lewandowski has also scored 43 goals in 37 games in all competitions in 2019-20, equalling his personal best from 2016-17.

Delightful Davies

It was another exemplary display from converted left-back Davies. He used his incredible pace to halt a counter-attack ahead of Bayern's opener and made a last-ditch block to deny Kenan Karaman a goal in the 33rd minute, before helping put the game beyond doubt early in the second half.

Jorgensen has a day to forget

Things got off to a bad start for the Denmark international with an own goal and he continued to be ran ragged at the back. He failed to track Lewandowski on his first, was not quick enough to get across to stop the striker getting a second and failed to prevent Davies barrelling through when Bayern got their fifth.

What's next?

Bayern face a tricky trip to Bayer Leverkusen next Saturday, while Dusseldorf are at home to Hoffenheim on the same day.

Former Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness foresees "a new era" at the club as he hopes Kai Havertz could follow Leroy Sane in joining the Bundesliga leaders.

Bayern are widely expected to sign Manchester City winger Sane in the upcoming transfer window, having seen a previous move for the Germany international hindered by a long-term injury.

The Bavarian giants were seven points clear of nearest challengers Borussia Dortmund ahead of Saturday's match against Fortuna Dusseldorf as they close on an eighth straight title.

With that side potentially boosted by Sane's arrival, Hoeness - a member of Bayern's supervisory board after his presidency ended - is excited for the future.

"I believe that we are on the threshold of a relatively great generation," he told BR.

"When I think that we managed to extend with Manuel Neuer, and we have Joshua Kimmich, Niklas Sule, Robert Lewandowski and hopefully David Alaba and Thiago Alcantara [also agreeing contracts], and I also hope with Leroy Sane, with [Kingsley] Coman, [Serge] Gnabry, a young, developable team.

"I can imagine, if everything goes well, that a new era is just beginning at Bayern Munich."

Bayer Leverkusen sensation Havertz would appear to belong among such company, with predictable links to Bayern emerging amid a wonderful season in which he has produced 11 goals and five assists in 26 Bundesliga starts.

Hoeness made no secret of his desire to have Havertz join Bayern, yet he acknowledged the potential difficulties of another major signing amid the financial uncertainty created by the coronavirus pandemic.

"We would certainly like to have Kai Havertz," Hoeness added. "But at the moment, it is so that one does not know exactly what the economic future of all football is.

"I would like to see him in Munich from a sporting perspective, but as of today I honestly cannot imagine it, although I would like to see it."

Italian football chiefs are prepared to abandon the Serie A season and use an algorithm to determine final placings if coronavirus forces another long interruption.

That is the last-resort option but one that the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) president Gabriele Gravina admits is an important back-up should the worst happen.

Gravina is optimistic the Serie A and Serie B league seasons can be completed, with a resumption date of June 20 confirmed.

But with three months of the 2019-20 campaign already lost due to the coronavirus pandemic, there is little wriggle room remaining, given the intention to begin next season on September 12.

Gravina said the FIGC "always wanted to avoid a Plan B", but they are prudently addressing what the logistics would be if another means of deciding placings needs to be established.

He said that if the league is interrupted but can later resume, there would be a play-off system invoked.

However, Gravina added: "If instead there is a definitive suspension, an algorithm would be used, which will be approved on June 8, which will take account of the sporting merits.

"The standings will be crystallised but with this algorithm the classification will be projected at the end of the season."

Speaking on Sky Sport 24 in Italy, Gravina said football was still in a "delicate" place in terms of the return to action, with risks that are "always present".

Gravina said he paid close heed to the words and actions of Pope Francis during the height of Italy's crisis.

"We were vulnerable and fragile; now I feel stronger and more determined than before," Gravina said.

Schalke's winless Bundesliga run was extended to 11 games as under-fire boss David Wagner saw his side beaten 1-0 by lowly Werder Bremen on Saturday.

The Gelsenkirchen outfit slipped to a fourth straight loss since the season's resumption, following up reverses at the hands of rivals Borussia Dortmund, Hertha Berlin and Fortuna Dusseldorf by going down to second-from-bottom Bremen.

Returning Bayern Munich-bound goalkeeper Alexander Nubel was helpless to prevent a stunning 25-yard strike from Leonardo Bittencourt settling matters after 32 minutes.

An improved second half brought Schalke no reward, and they have now gone 11 without a win in the league for the first time since the 1996-97 season.

Only once in their history, back in 1993, have the club endured a worse stretch in the top flight, then going 12 without a victory.

As Schalke fall into the bottom half of the table, leapfrogged by in-form Hertha Berlin, Bremen have meanwhile taken seven points from their past three matches to significantly boost hopes of survival.

The United Kingdom government has permitted the return of competitive sport behind closed doors from Monday, with Premier League chief executive Richard Masters welcoming the decision.

Strict guidelines set out by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) on Saturday must be adhered to, but professional sports will again be able to take place from June 1.

The Premier League has been suspended since March due to the coronavirus pandemic but is provisionally scheduled to restart on June 17.

Government minister Oliver Dowden said: "The wait is over. Live British sport will shortly be back on in safe and carefully controlled environments.

"This guidance provides the safe framework for sports to resume competitions behind closed doors.

"It is now up to individual sports to confirm they can meet these protocols and decide when it's right for them to restart.

"This is a significant moment for British sport. By working with clinicians every step of the way, we are creating the safest possible environments for everyone involved."

Premier League clubs were this week granted permission to return to contact training, and preparations are likely to continue gearing up towards a restart after a three-month hiatus.

All of the remaining 92 fixtures are due to be broadcast nationally, though police have requested at least six – including the game in which Liverpool can clinch the title – be played at neutral venues.

There have been three rounds of coronavirus testing at top-flight clubs in the past fortnight, with 12 of the 2,752 tests returning positive results.

Premier League chief Masters was encouraged by the decision.

He said: "The Premier League welcomes the government's announcement today [Saturday]. All major sports, including the Premier League, have been working together with the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to produce this stage three protocol.

"We could not have reached this point without the full support of the government, especially DCMS, Public Health England and the chief medical officer's team.

"We have provisionally planned to restart the Premier League on June 17, but there is still much work to be done to ensure the safety of everyone involved.

"This includes consulting with our clubs, players and managers - along with all our other stakeholders - as the health and welfare of our participants and supporters is our priority.

"If all goes well, we will be thrilled to resume the 2019-20 season in just over two weeks' time."

Leo Duarte hopes Milan team-mate Zlatan Ibrahimovic can recover quickly from injury after having a major impact since returning to the club.

Ibrahimovic has scored four goals in all competitions after rejoining the Rossoneri, having previously spent two seasons with them before departing for Paris Saint-Germain in 2012.

While now 38, the Swede's competitive nature has helped inspire his team-mates in training, according to defender Duarte.

However, Milan may be without the talismanic striker when the Serie A season resumes next month, as he suffered a calf problem in training that requires further examination.

"Ibra is a great champion, very competitive," Duarte - who has had injury problems himself since arriving at San Siro last year - told Sky Sport Italia.

"He helps us a lot in training to stay focused and improve - it really makes a difference for our team.

"We hope he can recover soon because he is very important for us."

Brazilian Duarte was signed from Flamengo but made just five league appearances before undergoing ankle surgery.

The break in the 2019-20 season due to the coronavirus pandemic has allowed him time to recover, though, and he is back training ahead of a resumption.

Serie A is scheduled to return on June 20 having been suspended since March, with Coppa Italia semi-final games to be held beforehand.

"Now I am fine, without pain and we hope to be stronger than before. I am ready, I am training with the group and I feel very good," Duarte said.

"I hope to play as many games as possible because I am physically well.

"We want to finish the championship in the best way, playing for Milan and getting as many points as possible to get to the Europa League or, better yet, in the Champions League."

Milan sit seventh in the table, 12 points behind fourth-placed Atalanta who also have a game in hand.

Former Arsenal midfielder Denilson is hoping to put significant injury problems behind him and continue his career for another five years.

Denilson joined Arsenal from Sao Paulo in 2006 and was on their books for seven years, though he spent the last two back on loan at the Tricolor Paulista.

However, the 32-year-old has made just six appearances in professional football since August 2016, undergoing three knee operations in that time.

Five of his outings came in 2016 while on loan from Al Wahda at Cruzeiro, who, after being relegated from Brazil's top flight for the first time in their history last year, will start the 2020 Serie B season with a six-point deduction after failing to clear a debt relating to the deal to sign Denilson.

After two years off the pitch he joined Botafogo-SP for their 2019 campaign but was released in April of that year due to fitness issues, his sole appearance consisting of 15 minutes in a 3-1 loss to Red Bull Brasil in the Campeonato Paulista.

Denilson has been without a club since and is desperate to return to the professional arena.

He told EPTV: "I went through sad moments, I kept it to myself and that is bad, but I never gave up. I want to have another five years [in my career] and that's what I intend to do.

"I want to continue playing professionally and really only after that look for something else to do.

"I want to work, to do what I love, because that's what I know how to do. For me, playing at Emirates Stadium is the same as playing at Botafogo-SP's stadium.

"I want to be playing regardless of whether it's on a good or bad pitch. The important thing is to be on the field, doing my job."

SA Rugby and Cricket South Africa have welcomed the decision for players to be able to return to training as part of revised lockdown regulations in the country. 

Nathi Mthethwa, minister for sports, arts and culture, announced the changes at a media briefing on Saturday, with non-contact sports cleared to resume both training and playing.  

As for contact sports, Mthethwa revealed while reporting on the department’s COVID-19 sector relief fund that they will be able to go back in a staggered, controlled manner. 

All professional teams now have 14 days to submit proposals to explain how they will ensure the safety of players and officials. 

"This is the news sport has been waiting to hear as it allows us to begin to ramp up preparations for an eventual return to play," said Jurie Roux, CEO of SA Rugby. 

"We submitted a comprehensive, staged return-to-play protocols document to the department five weeks ago and we are ready to begin medical screening of players immediately. 

"We will seek further clarity from the department on the application of the guidelines as they apply to contact training. 

"But this is an opportunity for our players to enhance their lockdown training regimes by increasing their fitness work for an eventual return to play."

South Africa’s cricketers can also now prepare to resume training again, though no individual will be forced to do so if they are not comfortable with the current situation.

The updated conditions only apply to the professional game, too.

"This is a big boost for the operational side of our cricket," commented Cricket South Africa's acting chief executive Jacques Faul.  

He added: “I have already had discussions with the South African Cricketers' Association (SACA) and I would like to stress that no player, coach, support staff or administrator will be forced to return to training if they are uncomfortable with it at this stage.”

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