Massimiliano Allegri future: Juventus boss under pressure, could he be the first sacking of the new season?

Pressure has been building on Massimiliano Allegri for a long time now, and that hasn't changed even during the summer months. Could he be the first coaching casualty of the 2023/24 season?

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Despite the off-field distractions impacting Juventus’ disappointing 2022/23 Serie A season and transfer activity ahead of the new 2023/24 campaign, coach Massimiliano Allegri is already under pressure, with many wondering how much longer he will last in Turin.

Even allowing for the 10-point deduction for capital gains fraud that saw the Serie A giants miss out on Champions League qualification, the team are believed to have underperformed under the 55-year-old, after he had been given more input into their summer transfer activity 12 months ago.

Allegri must start justifying high salary

Massimiliano Allegri watches Juventus from afar. (REUTERS/Alberto Lingria)

After replacing Andrea Pirlo in the summer of 2021, when Juventus had missed out on a 10th consecutive scudetto, then-president Andrea Agnelli displayed great confidence in Allegri, by handing him a €7m-a-year contract, plus bonuses and helping offload Cristiano Ronaldo to Manchester United.

However, while Manuel Locatelli performed well after arriving from Sassuolo, the striking reinforcements – Alvaro Morata, Moise Kean and promising youngster Kaio Jorge – did not work out as hoped. Dusan Vlahovic was then bought mid-season for €70m to help bail out Allegri without success.

Second summer spending hard to justify

Last term, there were glimpses of the efficient, if unentertaining, Juventus sides of his previous five-year stint in charge. The Bianconeri chained together eight consecutive Serie A wins without conceding, but that run ended with a 5-1 hammering to eventual champions Napoli.

Massimiliano Allegri reacts during a match. (REUTERS/Massimo Pinca)

That increased consistency, though, came at an enormous cost to the club and, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport, the former AC Milan coach’s request. Free agents Paul Pogba and Angel Di Maria cost the Bianconeri €8 and €6m a year each in wages respectively, yet both spent more time on the sidelines than the pitch.

Leandro Paredes also came in on loan from Paris Saint-Germain, earning €7 million, and did little more than block the progress of Juventus youngster Enzo Barrenechea. Centre-back Gleison Bremer impressed after joining from Torino, which was expected given the €41m outlay, but whether €12m for 30-year-old Filip Kostic was money well spent remains questionable.

Who could replace Allegri at Juventus?

Jose Mourinho and Massimiliano Allegri greet one another before Juventus face AS Roma. (REUTERS/Massimo Pinca)

When the Bianconeri waved goodbye to Allegri in 2019, the Italian’s only shortcoming was an inability to secure continental success. Under Allegri, Juventus lost a Champions League final to Barcelona in 2015 and being overcome by Spanish opposition once more when Real Madrid triumphed two years later.

At Allegri’s exit, Andrea Agnelli expressed a desire to appoint a coach with a track record for lifting silverware, yet handed the Juventus reins to Maurizio Sarri, who had won just a Serie D Coppa Italia at Sansovino, until a Europa League victory a few weeks previously with Chelsea.

With the absence of the Old Lady at the top of the Serie A tree for the last three years, though, there are now some candidates closer to home for them to consider, most recently Luciano Spalletti, who left his post at Napoli immediately after clinching the 2022/23 title and the club could consider an approach.

In addition, former Juventus coach Antonio Conte is still out of work after Premier League side Tottenham were unable to match the ambitions that took Inter to the Serie A title in 2021, while current Milan coach Stefano Pioli is a less likely candidate should Allegri leave the Allianz Stadium.

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