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Thursday, July 27, 2006
Deschamps: No more players leaving Juventus

ROME, July 27 (Reuters) - Juventus coach Didier Deschamps has said that no more of his players will be leaving the club despite Tuesday's confirmation that they will be playing in Serie B next season.

'No-one is going anywhere. The club's directors have decided that those under contract will stay at Juve, even in Serie B,' Deschamps was quoted as saying in La Gazzetta dello Sport on Thursday.

'In a year's time we will be back and competing for a major title. It's better to hold on to our players now rather than trying to buy them back a year from now.'

Juventus will start next season in Serie B on minus 17 points after Tuesday's ruling by the appeals court upholding the decision of a sports tribunal earlier this month that the club was guilty of conspiring with referees and linesmen to rig games during the 2004/05 season.

Deschamps's view, however, was not shared by Juventus's chairman Giovanni Cobolli Gigli, who seemed prepared to let players go - provided the price was right.

'If there are some departures there will also be some arrivals and whoever leaves will certainly not be sold cheaply,' he said.

The 27-times Italian champions have already lost several of their best players in the fallout from Italy's worst footballing scandal for more than 20 years.

The departures to Spain of Italy's World Cup captain Fabio Cannavaro, Brazilian midfielder Emerson, and defenders Gianluca Zambrotta and Lilian Thuram have weakened the side and raised fears that it could struggle to win immediate promotion back into Serie A.

Of the club's remaining players, Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon is the object of the greatest speculation.

Buffon's agent, Silvano Martina, said earlier this month that his client had decided to stay at Juventus but seemed less certain following the appeals court ruling with rumours of a move the AC Milan still running.

Other players rumoured to be considering leaving include midfielder Mauro Camoranesi and strikers David Trezeguet and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.




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