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Dec 4, 2012

Spalletti: I'm too old to coach Milan

Luciano Spalletti has seemingly ruled himself out of contention to become the next coach of Milan as the pressure on Massimiliano Allegri continues.

• Qualification permutations

The Zenit St Petersburg coach, currently preparing his side to face the Rossoneri in the Champions League on Tuesday, told a pre-match press conference that he wants to stay longer in his current role.

He said: "I'm too old to coach Milan, I still want to continue in Russia anyway. I have a good relationship with the president and have only just renewed my contract. However, in the future I would like to coach in England."

The 53-year-old, who took over at Zenit back in 2009, had a few words for Milan's stand out performer Stephan El Shaarawy, a player he appears very familiar with.

Spalletti continued: "El Shaarawy is a beautiful player. I became aware of him when he was offered to me back when I was at Empoli in 1998."

Allegri said Milan "have to get a result" against Zenit, despite already being guaranteed second place in their Champions League group.

The Russian side visit San Siro in one of a number of meaningless fixtures on Match Day Six but the Rossoneri coach, speaking at a press conference on Monday, believes winning is essential if they are to gain any momentum from their recent run of fixtures.

He said: "It's a Champions League game and we want to do well. In the last eight games in which we had already qualified, we've lost five and all of those were at home.

"Tomorrow I want to see a side with the right concentration to avoid another loss. It is an important game for the club's finances and Italian football's ranking. We have to get a result also because we want to give some continuity after our win at Catania."

He went on to discuss a number of changes as he has opted to rest Riccardo Montolivo and Stephan El Shaarawy while Philippe Mexes suspended.

Allegri continued: "We won't change the system but will swap a few players, it's probable that Djamel Mesbah will start on the left of defence.

"Giampaolo Pazzini? He's scored five goals, he played well against Juventus and he has my faith. He's an important player for us, whether he starts or comes on during a game."

Finally the coach touched on Alexandre Pato's latest injury trouble before looking ahead to the January transfer window which may see a number of new faces arrive to bolster the squad.

He told reporters: "He's still struggling with his thigh and it will be tough to get him back for Sunday. We have to be cautious with him."

"The club is alert to everything and we'll have clear ideas when we sit down around a table to talk about it. Some individuals will certainly leave though because we can't have 40 players at Milanello."

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