Allegri: Even without Pogba, Juventus have top-class squad

The Bianconeri head coach indicated that the France international remains on the Italian’s books and also pointed to their strength in depth

Paul Pogba may leave Turin for Manchester but Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri remains convinced he will have one of the best squads in Europe this season regardless of the Frenchman’s future.

Juventus’ off-season is set to be dominated by questions about Pogba’s future, with the 23-year-old midfielder widely expected to join Manchester United.

But while many Juve fans will fear losing Pogba, Allegri is adamant the five-time reigning Serie A champions will be stronger in 2016-17 than last season.

“At the moment I can tell you that Pogba is a Juventus player. We don’t know what is going to happen but Juventus will look after that, and I can tell you that we [have already signed] four first-class players in [Dani] Alves, [Miralem] Pjanic, [Marko] Pjaca and [Medhi] Benatia,” Allegri said on Friday.

“Of course, from here until August 31, which is the end of the transfer market, anything can happen but I feel confident that at the end of August Juventus is going to have a good team that’s going to be strong and be able to compete in all competitions.”

Juventus are in wintry Melbourne ahead of their first pre-season friendly on Saturday, with Allegri’s men set to face local club Melbourne Victory in the opening match of the 2016 International Champions Cup (ICC).

While the likes of Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea and Real Madrid have chosen the summer heat of the United States for their pre-season tour, Allegri has taken Juve to Australia for the second time in three years.

The 48-year-old argued he would prefer to train under grey, rainy skies as Juve did on Friday.

“We came here because here we work very well, especially for two reasons – for the temperatures and the facilities, which are first class,” Allegri said.

While Allegri refused to discuss a possible line-up for Saturday’s match, Victory coach Kevin Muscat revealed he will plump for a youthful central defensive partnership in a bid to shackle Paulo Dybala, Pjanic and Co.

While Ansell, 22, and Donachie, 23, both have A-League championship medals at home and over 100 senior matches between them, they will arguably face one of the toughest tests of their career on Saturday night.

But another young Victory defender Jason Geria insisted the home side wouldn’t be scared of the Italian champions.

“We’re going into the game with a mindset that we want to go out and play our way,” he said.

“We don’t want to go and just be an opposition just for them to do whatever they want.”

Muscat added that Juventus should be ready for a full-blooded contest: “It’s going to be difficult to hold the boys back, as we’ve seen previously, because we’re playing against some very good individuals and very good teams.”

Since Victory last played Juventus in a 4-1 defeat in 2007, the three-time A-League champions have lost to four other top-tier European clubs in friendlies without a single win or draw.

The original version of this story which was published by Serie A can be viewed here.

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