Juventus count down to title and securing Conte

Thu Apr 17, 2014 7:54am EDT
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By Terry Daley

ROME (Reuters) - On the verge of winning a third straight Serie A title, Juventus have two further objectives - winning their first major European trophy in nearly two decades and keeping hold of coach Antonio Conte.

Juve host relegation-threatened Bologna on Easter Saturday (1230 ET) having won all their 16 home games this season before Roma, eight points behind the leaders with five games to play, face fourth-placed Fiorentina in Florence (1500 ET).

Should Juventus win on Saturday, and then away at struggling Sassuolo and at home to Europa League-chasing Atalanta, the league title will be theirs. They would then have the satisfaction of travelling to the Italian capital to take on Rudi Garcia's Roma the following week as champions.

Conte's contract with Juventus expires in June 2015 and the club are desperate to tie him down to a long-term deal. The Gazzetta Dello Sport reported on Thursday the club have told Conte they want a decision on his future within 20 days.

"Conte has said that his personal situation will be discussed at the end of the season. The club is very happy with the work he has carried out, he is the leader of our team and we're very happy to have him," said Juve CEO Giuseppe Marotta.

"We will talk once we have won something important like the Scudetto or the Europa League."

Conte has been the architect of Juventus's dominance. He arrived at the club in 2011 after they had finished seventh in Serie A under Luigi Delneri and were still feeling the effects of the Calciopoli match-fixing scandal, that had led to Juve being stripped of two titles and relegated to Serie B in 2006.

Should they win the league it will officially be their 30th title, but the club and Juve fans refuse to acknowledge the authorities' tally. They would hail it as their 32nd.   Continued...

Juventus' Kwadwo Asamoah (L) jumps for the ball with Udinese's Dusan Basta during their Italian Serie A soccer match at the Friuli stadium in Udine April 14, 2014. REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo