Juventus have sacked Ciro Ferrara and appointed Alberto Zaccheroni as coach until the end of the season, ending speculation linking Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez with the post, at least in the short term.
Ferrara’s future had long been the source of speculation and uncertainty after the Bianconeri were knocked out of the Champions League and suffered a drop in form that has all but ruled them out of the race for the Serie A title.
A statement from Juventus read: “The Bianconeri club announces it has released Ciro Ferrara as coach and appointed Alberto Zaccheroni, who has signed a contract until June 2010.
“Zaccheroni will take over the team immediately and will guide this afternoon’s training session in Vinovo before being officially unveiled to the media.”
Ferrara joined Juve late last season and guided the Turin outfit to second place in Serie A.
However, he has endured a difficult spell in his first full campaign at the helm.
The Bianconeri have lost five of their last six games in Serie A and have plummeted to sixth in the standings, four points behind Napoli, who hold the last Champions League qualifying spot.
Juve were also eliminated from the Coppa Italia after a 2-1 loss at Inter Milan yesterday.
Zaccheroni will take charge of the team for the first time against Lazio on Sunday night.
The 56-year-old has plenty of experience in Italy’s top flight having managed a number of clubs, although this will be his first experience at Juventus.
Zaccheroni won the Scudetto with AC Milan in 1999 but had been out of a job since being sacked by Torino in February 2007.