Serie A giant Juventus are set to miss the duo of Giorgio Chiellini and Mario Mandzukic as they play French superpowers Olympique Lyonnais in the Champions League Group H game on Tuesday, according to reports.
Chiellini was absent as Juventus cruised to a victory over Udinese over the weeknd. The Italian defender missed the clash due to thigh injury. He missed the game as Juve claimed to be monitoring the situation. Former Bayern Munich star Mandzukic was left off the squad due to a “muscular strain in his right adductor region” the club confirmed this week.
Both players would not be available for the clash in France along with midfielder Claudio Marchisio as his rehabilitation for a knee injury continues. Juventus are the group leaders in Group H with four points but Lyon follow closely being just one point behind.
“At Juve, every game is vital. We are confident we can live up to expectations,” Miralem Pjanic – a former Lyon player but now at Juve said. The coach Massimiliano Allegri said: “We’re missing some key players but every good team should be able to roll with the punches and adapt.”
Lyon would be receiving the Italian side in a not-too-good form after losing 2-0 to Ligue 1 leaders Nice over the weekend. However, they are going to have a boost as Nabil Fekir and Alexandre Lacazette are set to start. Lacazette just returned from injury but is expected to lead the attack against the Italians.
“Tomorrow’s game will not just be about the Lacazette-Fekir pair. We will need to be rigorous. . We need to stick together,” Lyon coach Bruno Genesio said. The game is not easy to predict as Juve would be expecting three points and the hosts would not want an upset on home soil.
Juve is currently looking forward to a Champions League brawl with Dinamo Zagreb on Tuesday.
Juve who had on Saturday been gifted a 1 – 0 win over Palermo after an own goal from Edoardo Goldaniga, will meet Dinamo Zagreb at Stadion Maksimir.
The Massimiliano Allegro’s side will need a win against Dinamo Zagreb after ending up in a draw with Sevilla in their last Champions League game in order to advance up the table in their Group H. Dinamo Zagreb who fell under Lyon’s hammer as they were beaten 3 – 0 will equally be looking to get a win against Juve and bounce back in their home stadium on Tuesday.
Juve who was the better side at home in their match against Sevilla could not utilize its numerous chances thereby leading to the 0 – 0 tie with Sevilla. If Juventus gets the better of Dinamo Zagreb and wins in the match, this will further compound the Modri sides woes who already have their woes compounded with a 3 – 0 loss against Lyon.
La Vecchia Signora’s winger Marko Pjaca who made a move from Dinamo to Juve in the summer says he hopes for a warm reception from fans of his former club when Juve meets Dinamo Zagreb on Tuesday.
While speaking to Goal, Pjaca said;
“I will never forget what Dinamo fans done for me in my last game (against Vardar).
“Of course I hope they will applaud me now too, although I am aware I am arriving in the ‘wrong’ jersey. I hope they don’t boo me!If I score, I will not celebrate my goal.”
Pjaca has also sounded a note of warning to his new team that if they do not perform their best when they meet Dinamo at Stadion Marksimir, they would be punished by the Modri.
AC Milan General Manager Umberto Gandini has left the club after 23 years with the Italian giants. Gandini has been with the club for years, seeing all the changes year after year.
There are reports that he could move to long term rivals AS Roma. The reports claim Gandini is the replacement for Roma Sporting Director Walter Sabatini.
According to the latest odds on Netbet Sabatini is poised to take over the same role at Milan when he leaves the Giallorossi, as the Chinese take-over means current Sporting Director Adriano Galliani would leave. The rotation seems more feasible with the resignation of Gandini.
An official statement was released that reads: “After 23 years at Milam, Umberto Gandini is leaving us. It is legitimate, dear Umberto, that the desire to gauge yourself in a different context has matured within you, but let it be known that you leave behind a huge regret and a lot of affection. “This is what, in addition to your undoubted professional values, will remain forever in the hearts of all of us.”
If the claims of joining Roma remain valid, it would likely be confirmed next week when the president James Pallotta arrives in the Eternal City. Gandini is the first Vice Chairman of the European Club Association (ECA), and has been on the board of the body since 2008. He joined Milan in 1993, after previous experience in TV rights negotiation whilst working for Silvio Berlusconi’s firm – Mediaset group.
So far, €85 million has been received as part payment in the official takeover by Chinese investors – Sino-Europe Sports Investment Management Changxing Co. Ltd. The take-over is expected to be completed by the end of the year. A sum of €15 million was transferred during preliminary agreement in the first week of August.
Fininvest group (owned by Berlusconi) confirmed in a statement that a total sum of €100 million has been received. The payment means the over 30-year reign of Berlusconi is set to end.
Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon has stated that Paul Pogba can end up in becoming the best midfielder in the world just like Zinedine Zidane.
The Juventus goalkeeper has played with both Zidane and Pogba and believes that both players are quite similar.
He said that Pogba has everything he needs in order to become the best player in the world and believes that his move to Manchester United will help him make a name for himself in the world of football. Paul Pogba has been outstanding since moving to England and has stated that it is his desire to win the Ballon D’Or while playing for Manchester United.
Gianluigi Buffon said that he has witnessed the development of Pogba first hand and admitted that he has talent. He said that the player is a fighter on the pitch and that he gives himself 100% in a match. He said that the player has wonderful ball control and that he can change defence into attack quite quickly. He admitted that it was a big loss for Juventus to allow the player to move to Manchester United and that they will need to learn how to play without him.
He said that Pogba has the same talent like past players such as Platini and Zidane and believes that the player can end up in having a similar career to them. Gianluigi Buffon said that there is no doubt that Pogba will be a great success in the Premier League and has backed the player to win the title with Manchester United.
He said that the player would need a period of adaptation in the English league, and very soon Manchester United will see the best of Paul Pogba on the pitch.
At the moment Gianluigi Buffon said that he is busy preparing the new season with Juventus and believes that the team will again challenge for the title this season.
Giampiero Ventura has begun work on the Italian national team since his announcement by the Italian Football Federation.
The 68-year old manager was unveiled following the departure of former manager of the team, Antonio Conte. Conte who used to manage Juventus decided to return to club football to manage Chelsea leaving the spot open. Ventura has coach a long list of clubs in Italy, spending five years in charge at Torino before accepting the two year deal from the Football Federation.
Ventura’s first task would be to ensure the team qualifies for the 2018 World Cup in Russia which is set to begin in a couple of weeks. His first match in charge would be when Italy play a friendly against France in Bari on the 1st of September. Italy are in Group G and will play against Albania, Israel, Macedonia, Liechtenstein and Spain for a chance to feature in 2018.
The team enjoyed decent success under Conte, getting to the quarter final before they lost out in penalties to Germany. They defeated Spain in the Round of 16 and enjoyed a good tournament in the group stage. The coach met with the media at the national training complex at Coverciano where he spoke of his delight to lead the national team. He appreciated the efforts Conte made in developing a team with great work ethics and added that it would be helpful as he would not always have the team every day.
The Italian Football Federation president Carlo Tavecchio was very appreciative towards the efforts of Conte for what he did with the team. He said he created a new culture in the squad. One that is of sacrifice and team effort, not one that serves individuals. There are concerns about the depth of experience of the new coach as he has mostly managed lower divisions except his one season at Napoli.
Italian giants Juventus have now turned to face former Manchester United forward Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez after their initial plans to get Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal died on arrival.
Juventus legend Mauro Camoranesi believed Sanchez was the ideal candidate to replace Alvaro Morata after Real Madrid activated their buy-back clause to reclaim the player. The club enquired from the Gunners about the availability of the star player but Arsenal told them that the Chilean international was not available at all, forcing the club to look elsewhere.
Sanchez won the Golden Ball for his performance at the recently concluded Copa America Centenario which Chile won for the second straight time, defeating Argentina on both occasions. He played for three years at Udinese before joining Catalan side Barcelona back in 2011. It was reported that the player was intrigued with the idea of returning to Italy but Arsenal denied such claims and added that the player would remain at the Emirates.
Juve are now really keen on landing Chicharito this summer, according to reports from Express. The player who now plies his trade with Bayern Leverkusen impressed in the last campaign where he scored 17 goals in 28 games in the Bundesliga. The former Red Devils star was sold to the German side after former Manchester United coach Louis van Gaal told the player that he would enjoy limited opportunities when he took over. He made the move and became the shining star at the club.
With Juventus keen on sustaining their consistent victories in the Serie A and even making more exploits in Europe, they want a prolific forward who is reliable this summer.
With many clubs keen on retaining their top stars, the task would be a very difficult one. Bayern Leverkusen are not likely to release the player but time will tell.
Francesco Totti could be heading for his retirement, as the striker is not keen on extending his contract at Roma according to the club president.
Totti is one of the legends in world football after having achieved so much in the game while spending his entire career with Roma. He is one of the extremely popular one club men in world football. The 39-year-old is fast approaching the end of his career, but he has defied expectations by continuing to play as the first choice even up until now. There has always been speculation at the end of a season that it would be the final campaign for the striker.
However, he has continued to carry on playing by defying expectations. Now, though, he may finally be at crossroads with a difficult decision to make. Even though his contract runs out at the end of the campaign, Totti has not showed interest towards renewing the deal according to president James Pallotta. Meanwhile, Pallotta confirmed that the veteran was provided an offer which he is yet to sign. Totti’s Roma career seemed to be heading for an abrupt halt back in February when he had a fallout with manager Luciano Spalletti. He has since been featuring as a substitute for the club in most of the games.
“We made Francesco an offer more than a week ago, but it’s odd that he’s not accepted it because I thought he wanted to continue playing. Our offer’s a generous one.He should have signed it already, but probably he’s not getting good advice from his advisors,” saidPallotta. Meanwhile, Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon says that he would consider taking Totti to the Euro 2016 even at this age. “You would take him everywhere.A player like him, with his talent, could decide a game at any moment. There are not many players around with the talent he’s got. You should do everything for Totti,” said Buffon.
Massimiliano Allegri set to be rewarded for his impressive season with Juventus by receiving a new two-year contract, according to general manager Beppe Marotta.
A fifth consecutive title victory in the Italian Serie A was confirmed after the defeat for Napoli on Monday night. Juventus were on course to securing this title for quite a while. After making a poor start to the season, they have been in an unstoppable run since September. Allegri was in danger of a sack at the start of the campaign, but the amazing U-turn that he has done is set to be rewarded.
The only disappointment for the club will be their inability to match the achievements in the Champions League last season. Juventus reached the final of the 2015 competition before being beaten by Barcelona. However, they have been knocked out by Bayern Munich as early as in the last 16 stages. The title victory, though, will help the club convinced players like Paul Pogba to remain for at least another season. The Frenchman is on the wish list of every top club across Europe. He wants to do well in the Champions League more than anything else. Allegri is expected to be handed significant transfer funds to improve the squad next season.
“It’s a marriage which is going well, with both sides absolutely satisfied. We’re going to continue with him and renew his contract for two years. We’ll do that this week, but it’s merely a formality.Next year we want to be protagonists in the Champions League, even though you need luck to win that competition. We didn’t have as much luck with the draw this year as we had last year, but we were only 90 seconds away from going through, yet we then got knocked out,” said the Juventus general manager.
Maurizio Sarri has pushed Napoli to the 2nd spot of the Italian League, Serie A and Napoli is the only club that has a realistic chance of taking the title away from Juventus.
The favorites on winning the league still are Juventus as they are sitting comfortably at the top of the league but nonetheless Napoli have had an impressive season and Mauricio Sarri has recently been linked with the managerial position of Ac.Milan but the 57 year old manager dismissed those claims, even though some bookmakers have him at 2/1 to take over the AC Milan role – check out the latest odds at http://sports.williamhill.com/bet/en-gb/betting/y/5/cp/291/Football.html
“There’s nothing with Milan and couldn’t be in the future either, because we’re under contract with Napoli until 30 June and up to 30 May the club has a unilateral option.’’
“These are misleading destabilizations but this is part of the game, at this point you look to create problems, not only for Napoli but I see that Milan have many as well. I repeat, Sarri has a contract with the Azzurri and Napoli has an option to exercise, but it hasn’t been triggered yet. There was interest from Milan in the past and immense appreciation from Adriano Galliani but this is now water under the bridge. There were several meetings and conversations but it was limited to a demonstration of respect.” Napoli’s Maurizio Sarri said.
Ac.Milan has not went through the best of times as the Italian club are currently attempting to get a Europa League spot but they are behind Fiorentina in the standings and will need to start collecting victories consistently and this is something that Ac.Milan have struggled to do as they have recently been dropping points against Juventus, Atalanta, Lazio, Chievo and Sassuolo.
Siniša Mihajlović was recently sacked from his managerial position in Ac.Milan and then rumors began to emerge as to who was going to take charge of the Italian club and Maurizio Sarri was one of the possible candidates but after everything was said and done, it was Cristian Brocchi who was appointed as the new coach.
Massimiliano Allegri has been one of the high-profile managers linked with the vacant dugout at Chelsea. The Italian has found immense success since joining Juventus more than a year ago.
After taking the club to yet another league title, he came within a whisker of returning the proper glory days to the club by taking them to the Champions League final where they were narrowly beaten by a much superior Barcelona. Allegri has become one of the hottest managers in world football after getting the Italian outfit on a 15 match winning run in the league.
They have opened a substantial advantage in Italian Serie A in the space of a few weeks. Even then, the lack of significant TV money means that the Italian league is likely to be third or fourth in the list of desirable destinations for a manager.
The Premier league and the Spanish league continued to dominate in this regard due to the immense amount of wealth at the disposal of a manager in the transfer window. There have been suggestions that Allegri would be among the next great imports from the mainland, but the Juventus manager has categorically denied suggestions that he has signed a precontract agreement with Chelsea.
Antonio Conte has also been linked with the job and he is the predecessor of Allegri at Juventus. He told the 1