Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri understands why the likes of Paul Pogba and Alvaro Morata have been linked with moves away but has called for focus in kick-starting their Serie A title defence.
Morata was on target in Tuesday’s Champions League victory over Manchester City and was moved to deny reports he would return to Real Madrid at the end of the season – with the Spanish club holding a buy-back clause on the striker.
Pogba too was heavily linked with a move to Barcelona in the close-season but both remain part of a Juve side that has taken just one point from nine this term.
With the prospect of a fifth consecutive title far from certain, Allegri told reporters: “It is clear that the value of the players has increased.
“Pogba and Morata are extraordinary players and it is logical that they are in the sights of the four largest clubs in Europe.”
Turning his attentions to Sunday’s trip to Genoa, Allegri asserted that leaders Inter and fifth-place Roma represent the current favourites for the title.
“The championship is not compromised because there are a lot of games to come,” he added.
“We cannot talk about the Scudetto because we are less than eight games in. Right now, the favourites are Inter and Roma. We are realists and we will take it one step at a time.
“If we win against Genoa we go to four points, not 12 so we must begin by not conceding goals and winning.
“I do not know if it’s an advantage, you have to look at the table for now. We’re late, we face the championship game after game, we’ll see where we are at Christmas.”