Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri has cautioned Paul Pogba and Leonardo Bonucci against moves to the Premier League that would see them leave one of “the top four European clubs”.
France midfielder Pogba has been heavily linked with a world-record move to re-join former club Manchester United, while Manchester City are reported to have tabled a big-money offer for Bonucci – the Italy centre-back that their boss Pep Guardiola notably described as “one of my favourite ever players”.
But Allegri, whose team will chase a sixth consecutive Scudetto this season, suggested Pogba, Bonucci and other star names might consider staying put.
“I am calm about the English rumours,” he told Gazetta dello Sport. “Anyone who has the opportunity to leave Juventus has to consider things very carefully, because right now Juve are among the top four European clubs.
“This is not a selling club that just lets its players go. Pogba belongs to Juve and at the end of the day he too will want to win another Scudetto and hopefully the Champions League.
“We have grown in terms of appeal and awareness of our own capabilities. So far our market this summer has been eight out of 10, bringing in players of international pedigree like Medhi Benatia, Dani Alves and Miralem Pjanic.”
Allegri is excited over the impact new recruits such as former Barcelona right-back Alves and Bosnia-Herzegovina midfielder Pjanic – prized from potential Scudetto rivals Roma – can have in Turin.
“Dani Alves has experience and technique. With Stephan Lichtsteiner we’ll have an important push down the flanks,” he explained.
“Pjanic plays in front of the defence or as a trequartista. He can do everything because he knows football perfectly well and therefore has no problems playing in any zone of the pitch. He’s also only 26 years old, so can improve even more.
“Saying that we need another two or three players is unfair, especially as I don’t want to talk about transfers, but the club is working well and knows we need alternatives.”
Allegri added: “Is this the strongest Juventus squad I’ve had? Every team is different, but this one is very strong and I am fortunate to be training great champions.”