Max Allegri explained his reasons for turning down a lucrative offer from Saudi Arabia: “It seemed wrong to leave Juventus at this moment.” Allegri was closely linked with a move to the Middle East with reports suggesting he had been contacted by both Al-Hilal and Al-Nassr over a prospective €60 million deal.
Speaking with La Domenica Sportiva, the Juve coach explained his reasons for rejecting the offer and also offered an update on his squad, pointing to the youthful look to his new look Bianconeri squad:
“He did 40 minutes in the friendly, I made the first two changes at halftime because I needed more direction in the middle of the field anyway with Fagioli and McKennie instead of Weah. Then Cambiaso cramped up so I had to make an extra substitution in the second half. We hope to have him soon, he has to improve his condition, he is an important player and having him every day is already an achievement.”
Important to write a new beginning in this stadium with victory number 250 on the Juve bench?
“My numbers? I don’t look at them, I am lucky to be part of Juventus, this is my eighth year and working for 8 years for Juventus is not easy, on the contrary it is challenging and being part of this family is a source of pride for me. If I have made it to 250 wins I think the credit is solely to the players I have had at my disposal since I arrived.”
Is this a new Juve?
“It is a Juve that has lowered its age a lot so we have to run, we have to improve a lot, we have to restart from a second half that was not good at all because we did neither ball management nor good defence in our own half of the pitch, we have to work on that because I think the normality at Juventus is victories and when we manage to win a game we have to work to improve and go to work on what we did wrong.”
Juve for the Scudetto?
“The championship is long, our goal is to play that Champions League that was taken away from us despite a third place finish and we will miss this Champions League because playing one game a week should be seen as an opportunity to work and improve the players but playing the Champions League is another thing.”
Is this Juve a ‘child’ born of that anger?
“There is a good spirit, a good air inside the team and a group willing to improve. I am happy with the guys I have at my disposal and we are working on that. We have the opportunity to improve both as a team and individually and there is a lot to work on and improve, the important thing is not to settle because even today at 2-0 we pulled the plug.
“A team is made like this and it is difficult to integrate anyone, I think we will have to evaluate what is the exit of some younger guys who go out to play a few games because with one game a week it is more difficult to find space with us.
No to Arab offers?
“It seemed wrong leave Juventus at this time because anyway there are so many good youngsters who can be our future and this team I think has an important future given the age of the players, and so I don’t know where we will finish, the important in the top 4, but with the players like Fagioli, Yildiz, iling Juventus can have a great future.”