Italy coach Marcello Lippi has dismissed speculation linking him with a return to Juventus after next year's FIFA World Cup™ in South Africa.

Lippi, who guided Italy to FIFA World Cup glory in Germany three years ago, has a contract with the Italian Football Association until the end of the next tournament. However, the coach who led Juve to five league titles and a UEFA Champions League triumph during two previous spells at the club, does not want to retrace his steps.

"I'm not going back to Juventus, neither as coach nor as a technical director, have I made myself clear," he said during a sporting press congress in Milan. "Whatever anyone says, it's not true, I'm not going back to Juve.

"The reality is this and this alone... the only truth is that I went to lunch with [Juve general manager Jean-Claude] Blanc just as I go to lunch with [AC Milan vice-president Adriano] Galliani, with the Lazio president, and with [Roma general manager] Bruno Conti. I'm the coach of the national team and I'm thinking exclusively about that."