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AC Milan coach Gattuso rejects 'unfounded' rumours linking him with Newcastle

13:32 WAT 24/04/2019
Gennaro Gattuso
After rejecting claims he could take charge of Roma, the former Italy midfielder says he won't be replacing Rafa Benitez at St James' Park

Gennaro Gattuso has rejected surprise speculation he could take charge of Newcastle United.

AC Milan's coach this month rubbished claims of a potential move to Serie A rivals Roma.

But the former Italy midfielder has now emerged as a reported target for Premier League side Newcastle.

Media in Italy claimed he held a meeting with agent Jorge Mendes, with a possible switch to Newcastle on the agenda.

Newcastle have been led to Premier League safety by Rafa Benitez once more, but his contract expires at the end of the season.

Should Benitez leave Newcastle, Gattuso says it will not be him who succeeds the Spaniard.

"With Mendes we often see each other," Gattuso said to Rai Sport. "I like good food and talking about football.

"Newcastle? Unfounded rumours. I repeat, with Mendes there is only one great friendship."

Mendes has close links to Wolves, helping to bring Portuguese players including Ruben Neves and Joao Moutinho to Molineux.

Milan, meanwhile, are in danger of missing out on Champions League qualification having won only one of their past six Serie A games.

Gattuso's side, fourth in the table, host Lazio in the second leg of the Coppa Italia semi-final on Wednesday, the first game having ended goalless.

"The past is the past, we look to the present. We are playing a very important game," Gattuso told Milan TV of facing Lazio.

"It will not be easy. In the first leg we did a lot of work, we're starting from 0-0, we'll see. For us it would be very important to reach the final, but we will need to work and have a great performance.

"Tired? Just like we are, so are the others. It's a tiring campaign. On Wednesday we will be in front of a great crowd, it's a beautiful spot for Italian football and we'll try to make a good impression. We are thinking only of the game."