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Is a title challenge possible for Man Utd?

Manchester United
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By ESPN Staff

Capello to ring changes after Juve exit

MILAN, April 6 (Reuters) - Juventus coach Fabio Capello suggested there could be major changes to his team after Wednesday's limp exit from the Champions League at the hands of Arsenal.

Trailing 2-0 from the first-leg in London, Juve produced little to worry Arsene Wenger's side who coasted to a goalless draw that allowed them to reach the semi-finals for the first time.

It was the second successive year that the Italian champions have been eliminated at the quarter-final stage by an English club -- last year Liverpool knocked out Capello's side in similar fashion as they drew 0-0 after a 2-1 first leg win.

After defending his team from criticism in the post-match press conference Capello was asked about any plans for rebuilding his squad for next season and replied bluntly, 'We are already working on that.'

There was little doubt from the reaction of the fans and the Italian media that Juventus deserved to go out and had done so in a fashion unbecoming of a club which has reached the final in four of the last 10 editions of the Champions League.

Fans chanted 'Go and get a job' and 'Shame on you' as Juve's attempted comeback fizzled out in the second half and Capello himself, who in his second season at the club is poised to win his second Serie A title, also came in for some abuse.

The daily La Repubblica was scathing in its criticism. 'With the dismissal of Pavel Nedved Juve finished with 10 but they also finished with zero -- zero goals, zero ideas, zero heart, zero strength, a real zero-zero,' the paper wrote.

Juve are nine points clear at the top of Serie A with six games remaining and though their 29th 'scudetto' looks a near certainty their lame quarter-final showing -- after a far-from-impressive European campaign -- ensures there will be changes to the side for next season.

They already have an agreement to sign Parma's exciting right-winger Marco Marchionni and media reports suggest a similar arrangement could see Inter Milan midfielder Cristiano Zanetti move to the Delle Alpi.

Zanetti, who has been forced to the fringes at Inter, was a key part of Capello's championship-winning side at AS Roma in 2001 and would be a useful addition to the squad.

But if Juve are to mount a more intensive challenge to get back the trophy they last won 10 years ago, more radical and certainly more expensive purchases are likely to be necessary.

If the past is anything to go by, Juve will probably need to rid themselves of one or two of their big earners before bringing in any top-class signings.

There has been constant speculation surrounding their Swedish forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who has looked irritated and unhappy in recent games and has come in for intense scrutiny and criticism from the media.

French midfielder Patrick Vieira, who joined Juve from Arsenal in the close season but missed Wednesday's game through suspension, is widely viewed as a disappointment while his compatriot Lilian Thuram was on the bench.

A central defender, a central midfielder and, possibly, another striker would probably be the positions Capello would focus his attention on for reinforcements.