Massimiliano Allegri has been asked about Juventus’ potential move for Paul Pogba, with the midfielder having been linked with a return to the Turin club.
The Manchester United midfielder is thought to be unhappy at Old Trafford, and reports have suggested that he could be on his way back to Juventus.
Allegri was asked about the possibility of signing Pogba, and he had this to say: “I don’t know. I think Pogba is angry because I beat him at basketball!”
It remains to be seen whether Juventus will make a move for Paul Pogba, but it seems likely that they will be keen to bring him back to Turin.
The midfielder had a successful spell at Juventus, and he would be a welcome addition to the squad.
Allegri will be hoping to win another Serie A title with Juventus this season, and Paul Pogba could play a key role in helping them to achieve that goal.
Speculations and rumours around Allegri and Paul Pogba
“Speculation makes no sense to me,” said the Italian, who has been linked with signing World Cup winner Cristiano Ronaldo.
The manager of Juventus, Massimiliano Allegri, has refused to comment on links between Paul Pogba and the club, but he did state that he has a “great relationship” with him. Before jokingly declaring that he always wins at basketball against him, Allegri continued: “I’ve always been in touch with him.”
Paul Pogba left Juventus for Manchester United in 2016, with the then-record transfer fee of £100 million ($134m). However, his stay at Old Trafford has been anything but consistent. Paul Pogba’s contract expires this summer, and Juve has been linked with bringing him back on a free transfer.
“It makes no sense to talk about Paul Pogba,” Allegri told a news conference. “We have a great relationship. I always beat him at basketball.”
Asked if he wanted the midfielder back, Allegri said: “I don’t want anyone. We’ll see who comes in the summer.”
Allegri’s side face Rapid Vienna in the Europa League on Thursday and the Italian says he is looking for a response after their 2-1 Serie A defeat to Sassuolo at the weekend.
“Rapid Vienna are a team that play good football, who run hard and are well organised,” Allegri said. “We’re coming off a bad defeat and we need to react.
“It’s an important game for us both in terms of qualification and for our self-esteem. We want to get back to winning ways.”
Allegri also confirmed that Rodrigo Bentancur will start in midfield in place of the injured Miralem Pjanic.
“I’ll play Rodrigo Bentancur,” Allegri said. “He did well against Manchester United and has been training well. He’s young, motivated and eager to play.”
What’s the latest?
“Paul Pogba? It makes no sense to discuss the market right now. He’s a member of Manchester United, and I have no idea what he’ll do in the next season. “It’s true that I had a wonderful relationship with him, but he’s furious with me for always beating him at basketball!”
Allegri’s press conference also saw him address the future of defender Leonardo Bonucci, who has been heavily linked with a move to Premier League champions Chelsea. “Bonucci is a Juventus player and I don’t know what he’s going to do next season,” Allegri said. “He still has two years on his contract.”
Paul Pogba has been heavily linked with a return to Juventus, just four years after he left the club to join Manchester United in a then-world record £89.3million transfer.
The France international is said to be unhappy at Old Trafford and wants to leave this summer, with Juventus among the clubs reportedly interested in signing him.
Allegri’s comments about basketball could be an attempt to show Pogba that he would not be the only star at Juventus if he returned, with the Italian also having a strong squad at his disposal.
Chelsea are also said to be interested in signing Bonucci, with manager Antonio Conte believed to be a big fan of the defender. However, Juventus are said to be unwilling to sell Bonucci, who has been at the club since 2010.
Prospect of Pogba coming back
In 2012, Pogba left Old Trafford on a free transfer after failing to reach agreement on new terms. He was one of the world’s top midfielders in four years with Juventus and was instrumental in Allegri’s team, which won Serie A in 2015 and made it to the Champions League final that year.
United’s record-breaking offer persuaded them to bring him back, but he now appears set to depart for free once more, with time running out for Manchester United to negotiate a new deal. The player himself has stayed mum on his future plans, while his agent Mino Raiola teased that Turin is still in his heart nine months ago.
Asked about the prospect of Paul Pogba returning to Juventus, Allegri told reporters: “I don’t know. I spoke to him last year and he was very happy at Manchester United.
“He’s a great player, but also a great person. I think that if he were to come back here it would be because he wanted to win with Juventus and not because he was unhappy at Manchester United.”
Allegri was also asked about the prospect of signing Douglas Costa on a permanent basis from Bayern Munich, with the winger having shone on loan at Juventus this season.
“Douglas has done very well for us,” Allegri said. “He’s a player who can give us a lot of quality, both on and off the pitch.
“We’ll talk about it at the end of the season. I’m very happy with him.”
Asked about Juventus’ chances of winning the Champions League next season, Allegri said: “We can improve on what we did last year. The Champions League is a very difficult competition to win, but we’ll do our best.”
Allegri also spoke about the prospect of signing Douglas Costa on a permanent basis from Bayern Munich, with the winger having shone on loan at Juventus this season.