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Lippi next on Real list Tuesday 21 March, 2006

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With Carlo Ancelotti and Fabio Capello now unlikely to leave their respective clubs this summer, Real Madrid have turned their attention to Italy boss Marcello Lippi.

The Spanish giants are openly looking for a new Coach with Ancelotti and Capello high on their wish lists.

However, Milan and Ancelotti have recently insisted that they will not be divorcing in the summer, while Capello will remain at Juventus given the likelihood that the club’s triad of directors will not be off at the end of the season.

As a result, Real are pondering a move for Lippi as other possible targets in the form of Arsene Wenger and Rafa Benitez are unlikely to leave Arsenal and Liverpool respectively.

Real were alerted to Lippi’s availability last week when he admitted that he hadn’t agreed to sign a new contract with the Italian Football Federation despite their new two-year offer.

Lippi wants to see how his side perform at Germany 2006 before deciding whether or not he wants to continue his spell on the Azzurri bench.

A top four finish in the World Cup will undoubtedly see him remain with the national side, but anything less and Lippi may consider his options.

He has admitted on numerous occasions that he would like to try a foreign experience and Real Madrid would certainly be an attractive offer.

However, there is some talk on Tuesday which suggests that Juventus could hire him for the third time once Capello’s agreement expires in 2007.

Lippi was spotted having dinner at a restaurant in Forte dei Marmi with Juve chief operating officer Antonio Giraudo and director general Luciano Moggi.

Although it’s unclear what they spoke about in the two hours they spent together, Lippi did tellingly leave the door open for a Juve return only last week. “Never say never,” he noted.

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