Massimiliano Allegri has asked Juventus to bankroll an aggressive rebuild of the Italian champions’ squad as a condition of continuing as manager for a fifth season.
Juve – one point away from securing a seventh straight Scudetto – want to retain Allegri’s services amidst interest from the English Premier League, but are undecided on his transfer demands.
On the verge of returning four Italian league and cup doubles from his four campaigns as Juve manager, Allegri has informed his employers of approaches from other clubs while making clear his belief that the team requires “fresh air” to achieve the long standing goal of lifting a third European Cup. According to sources close to the 50-year-old, the air conditioning he has in mind involves selling “four, five or six” senior players to make room for a similar number of high-quality replacements.
Allegri has two years remaining on a contract extended last June, having led Juve to two Champions League Finals followed by this season’s narrow quarter-final exit to eventual finalists Real Madrid.
The former AC Milan, Cagliari, Sassuolo, Grosseto and Aglianese coach has been canvassing options outside the Italian game for some time now, using a recent interview to advertise an intent to “certainly…go abroad” post-Juventus.
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Arsenal and Chelsea have shortlisted Allegri as a candidate to fill the vacancies about to be created by enforced exits of Arsene Wenger and Antonio Conte.
While the Italian is interested in both by those positions and the prospect of living and working in London, it is understood that Allegri will not accept a job in England without assuring himself that his new role is one in which he can prosper.
“He knows he needs a fresh experience, but he’s not the guy who wants to go to England without a real chance to win,” a friend told Yahoo Sport. “Which competitive club can give him that opportunity now?”
There are serious question marks over the quality of an Arsenal squad that has failed to even qualify for the Champions League two seasons running, and over its American owners’ willingness to fund new signings. That, added to the inherent difficultly of succeeding a manager of 22 years, are concerns for Allegri.
Chelsea are also unlikely to be able to offer top-tier European football to Conte’s successor next season and are constrained by the costs of a stadium rebuild.
Allegri is well aware of his compatriot’s frustrations with Roman Abramovich’s recruitment policy; and of the long line of elite managers swallowed up then spat out by the Russian’s football club.
READ MORE: Allegri hints he will turn down Arsenal move
Paris Saint-Germain appeals to a manager who enjoys, and has prospered, handling problematic characters like Neymar. The Qatar-owned club, however, have elected to replace Unai Emery with the less experienced Thomas Tuchel; a recruitment decision made by the gulf state’s Emir against the counsel of PSG’s sporting director and chief executive.
“I have a contract with Juventus and, as we do every year, we will meet at the end of the season to plan the future,” said Allegri following this week’s Coppa Italia victory over Milan. “We need a clear understanding of how to improve again. We haven’t reached our maximum because we have lost two Champions League finals. There are so many unpredictable elements in football.”