Max Allegri

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Reports claim Allegri linked with Manchester United, Spurs

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The international break can be a slow time for news, but what to make of multiple reports claiming that Max Allegri is in discussion with a pair of struggling traditional Premier League powers?

Tuttosport claims that Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur have interest in hiring the Italian manager, adding that United has had “intensified” contact with him.

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Noise out of Old Trafford continues to back Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, while there is no real buzz that Mauricio Pochettino is on the verge of leaving Spurs.

The 52-year-old Allegri has won Serie A once with AC Milan and five times with Juventus, claiming a Serie C title with Sassuolo in 2007-08.

Is there anything to it? He’d be a great hire for either side. In United’s case, he’d be a marked upgrade on their current boss.

Allegri asks for lifetime bans after Kean racially abused

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Leonardo Bonucci didn’t exactly have his teammate’s back after Moise Kean was racially jeered following a goal in Juventus’ defeat of Cagliari.

Kean, who is black, scored an 85th minute goal to give the Serie A leaders a 2-0 lead.

The player was then racially abused by fans, with teammate Blaise Matuidi understandably offended and angry. And whereas Juve manager Max Allegri said fans needed to be banned for life when caught doing such things, Bonucci thinks blame lies on both side.

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His comments are stunning stuff but also not out of character with the backwards racial incidents sometimes on display in Italian football. From Football-Italia:

“Kean knows that when he scores a goal, he has to focus on celebrating with his teammates. He knows he could’ve done something differently too,” Bonucci told Sky Sport Italia.

“There were racist jeers after the goal, Blaise heard it and was angered. I think the blame is 50-50, because Moise shouldn’t have done that and the Curva should not have reacted that way.”

50-50? We have to hope something’s been lost in translation.

Allegri did say that Kean shouldn’t have provoked the fans, but said, “That, of course, does not mean the idiots in the crowd and the way they reacted should be justified.”

Now you might agree, in a sense, that Kean provoked angry comments. But this wasn’t him being called a simple profane name or shouted that he stinks; There’s no excuse for tossing racial barbs in 2019. No excuse.

Kean, for what it’s worth, is understandably not in an apologetic mood, taking a page from Raheem Sterling.

 

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The best way to respond to racism 🦍 #notoracism 🚫

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To recap: In Bonucci’s book, spreading your arms on the touch line after being booed and getting monkey chants is cause enough to hear racial slurs. Cool, cool.

Can you imagine if Gareth Southgate or one of Sterling’s white English teammates hedged in their criticism of racial attacks on Sterling over the international break? Hardly, which is a true indictment on Bonucci and also something much larger than him.

See the goal after a description of the abuse, which came after Kean was booed all night.

Juventus hopeful Ronaldo will return earlier than expected

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It is quite obvious Juventus will be just fine without superstar striker Cristiano Ronaldo in Serie A.

Max Allegri’s men are are 15 points clear at the top of the table with nine games to go and have a eighth-straight Scudetto pretty much wrapped up. But as for the UEFA Champions League, that is where they need Ronaldo to help get them over the final hurdle and end their 23-year wait to be crowned as champions of Europe.

Ronaldo, 34, suffered an injury to his right thigh while playing in a EURO 2020 qualifier for Portugal last week, and he is a doubt for their UCL quarterfinal first leg against Ajax in Amsterdam on Apr. 10.

Speaking about Ronaldo’s injury, Allegri seems pretty confident he can return to play against the Dutch giants.

“Ronaldo is working hard and we hope to have him available for Ajax… The exam he had this morning revealed that the leg is much better. Then of course it depends how the player reacts and the eventual pain that he feels,” Allegri said.

Juve will still be the heavy favorites against Ajax without Ronaldo, but if he is fit it would be a huge boost.

Allegri has veteran Mario Mandzukic and youngster Moise Kean to stand in but the Turin club would certainly love to have their top goalscorer available, especially with his penchant for the spectacular in the UCL after winning five titles in the last seven seasons.

Guardiola rips reports linking him to Juventus

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Pep Guardiola dismissed reports that he’ll be joining Juventus next season.

The Manchester City boss has won titles in England, Germany, and Spain, and there’s plenty of pressure on Max Allegri.

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And Guardiola is upset by the rumors, given that he has two years left on his contract and Juve very much has a manager right now to go with a 19-point lead in Serie A.

“Why when someone says something on Twitter do the big newspapers say that for the next four years Pep is going to Juventus? I don’t understand why the people saying I am going to Juventus don’t try to call the club or call myself or call my agent or Juventus or Massimiliano Allegri. I feel so sorry for Massimiliano.”

Juventus is home this week in the UEFA Champions League and needs to overcome a 2-0 deficit to stingy Atletico Madrid in the UEFA Champions League.

Still, it’s hilarious that Allegri’s seat is hot even as Cristiano Ronaldo and Juve face dismissal from the UCL; Juve has a 19-point table lead having played one more match than Napoli.

Guardiola says he’ll be with City for at least two more seasons.

“Except if they sack me,” he said. “Then after, I go home. But if Manchester City want me I will stay for two more years and hopefully another one. I am not going to go to Juventus in the next two years.”

Juve: ‘No use crying over spilt milk’ after ‘ugly’ first leg loss

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Max Allegri and Juventus look set to fall short of a UEFA Champions League title again, and this time are staring down an exit before the quarterfinals.

[ MORE: Match recap ]

The club has two things going for it after a 2-0 first leg loss to Atletico Madrid in Spain: The 90 minutes or more of the second leg, and Cristiano Ronaldo.

The player has already made his feelings known by setting the second leg stage with a very Patrick Roy (for you hockey fans out there) title rip.

Allegri is a bit more diplomatic, ripping Juve’s “ugly” second half at the Wanda Metropolitano but also demanding the club move past it immediately. From Football-Italia.net:

“Now we have the chance to turn this around, we must have faith, we’ll have some players back and there’s no point crying over spilt milk. We knew it was going to be tough, that Atletico Madrid force you to play badly, with a slow tempo. We moved the ball quicker in the first half, but not in the second.

“We got the approach wrong in the second half. It’s that simple. These things can happen, there will be great disappointment after this 2-0, but we can turn it around. It won’t be easy, we need a great second leg, but it can be done and we must have faith.”

And there’s Ronaldo, Dybala, and a number of world class players on his side. An inspired, spiteful Ronaldo is one thing, but take into account the man clearly carries his legacy on his hip pocket and the Portuguese hero is going to be flying come March 12 in Turin.