TURIN: Coach Massimiliano Allegri will leave Juventus after five seasons in which they dominated Serie A following a reported fall-out with the club’s directors, the newly-crowned Italian champions said in a surprise statement on Friday.
“Massimiliano Allegri will not be on the Juventus bench for the 2019/2020 season,” Juve said in a statement, adding Allegri and club president Andrea Agnelli will hold a news conference on Saturday.
Allegri, 51, had rejected reports saying he was about to be dismissed last Saturday adding he had already been making plans for next year over the past six months.
He held meetings with the club’s hierarchy this the week during which a clear disagreement between the two parties emerged.
Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport claimed they fell out over a variety of subjects including Allegri’s desire for an increased salary and a differing vision of the side’s future.
Juve have already wrapped up their record eighth consecutive title, and Allegri’s fifth in as many years and he lifted the Coppa Italia on four occasions since replacing Antonio Conte in 2014.
The club’s former midfielder Conte along with France boss and ex-defender and coach Didier Deschamps, Champions League finalist Mauricio Pochettino of Tottenham Hotspur and Lazio’s Simone Inzaghi have been linked with taking over from Allegri in the Italian press in recent weeks.
Allegri’s departure from the Allianz Stadium will alert a host of big European outfits and his name shot up the bookmakers’ list of favourites to be the next permanent coach at Inter Milan and Chelsea.
Allegri led the team to two Champions League finals but Juventus appears frustrated by not being able to win the European trophy especially after signing Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid before this season.
They were humiliated by modest-spending Ajax Amsterdam in the quarter-finals in April despite a star-studded side including Ronaldo, Argentina’s Paulo Dybala and France World Cup winner Blaise Matuidi.
Allegri guided Juve to two European finals losing to Barcelona in 2015 before being hammered by Real Madrid two years later.
The pressure to bring the much-desired trophy back to Turin for the first time since 1996 was also alleged to be part of the fall-out according to Gazzetta.
Allegri, who spent much of his playing career as a midfielder in Serie B, had arrived at Juventus six months after being sacked by AC Milan, whom he had led to the Serie A title at the first attempt in 2011 after earning coaching plaudits at Cagliari.
He was initially greeted with hostility at Juventus; supporters hurled eggs at his car as he arrived for his first training session. But he quickly won the fans over as the club continued their dominance of Serie A.
Conte led Juventus to the first three titles of the club’s current run then left to coach Italy through the 2016 European Championship. He coached Chelsea to the English Premier League title in 2017 but was fired by the London club in 2018 and has been out of work ever since.
Conte said recently he wants to coach again next season but without specifying where.
Wales midfielder Aaron Ramsey has already signed for the Italian club on a free transfer from Arsenal for next season.
Local press reported Allegri had been keen to sell the likes of Dybala, Brazil winger Douglas Costa and Portugal right-back Joao Cancelo in the upcoming summer transfer window.
Allegri’s final two matches with Juventus will be against Atalanta on Sunday in Turin and at Sampdoria the following weekend.
Published in Dawn, May 18th, 2019