Lucescu coy on Serie A rumours

The 67-year-old has been linked with the likes of Inter as his contract with Shakhtar Donetsk runs down, and he admits he is "proud" to hear his name mentioned in such quarters
Shakhtar Donetsk coach Mircea Lucescu has admitted he is flattered to have been linked with a return to Serie A, but maintains he could yet stay with the Ukraine outfit.

The 67-year-old's current contract expires at the end of the season, and reports have been circulating in recent weeks suggesting he could return to Inter, whom he coached in 1998-99.

Lucescu has conceded he is proud to have heard of the rumours as it suggests he is performing well in his current role, but he insists he could still decide to pen an extension with the Ukrainian champions.

He told La Gazzetta dello Sport: "The only true thing is that at the end of May, my contract with Shakhtar ends, but it is also true that I have always renewed at the last minute.

"Yes, I've heard the rumours, and they fill me with pride. It means that my work is appreciated: the game I play, the young players, the fact they're here in Ukraine and we stopped the dominance of Dynamo Kiev.

"Of course, there is more stability [in Italy] than in countries such as Turkey, where some club presidents change every two months. Better to have less money and a little more stability."

Lucescu led Shakhtar on a tremendous run to the Champions League last 16, where they were ultimately defeated by Borussia Dortmund, and he admits he wishes things had gone differently in the tie.

When asked whether he had any regrets in the tournament, he said: "Several. I lost Willian on the last day of the market, and then the long break has damaged us.

"Mine is a game of organisation and concentration, and against Borussia Dortmund we conceded five goals, with three from corners."

Finally, Lucescu added his thoughts on the quarter-final draw, and claimed that Juventus are strong enough to overcome Bayern Munich and go on to lift the trophy.

"They [Juventus] can do it," he went on. "They feel stronger, organised and above all hungry. In [Gianluigi] Buffon, [Andrea] Pirlo and [Mirko] Vucinic, the top three players complement each other perfectly.

"Barca will go past PSG, even if the other side is full of stars, the Catalans have a tested method that is hard to stop. Real Madrid will beat Galatasaray, who did well to get here but also had a lot of luck."