Former Juventus head coach Massimiliano Allegri said he has been forced to take a year off from football after not receiving any offers.

Allegri and Juve parted ways following an eighth consecutive Serie A title in 2018-19 and fifth under the Italian's leadership.

The 51-year-old has been linked with Premier League giants Chelsea, who are reportedly poised to grant Maurizio Sarri a release ahead of his proposed move to Juve.

However, ex-AC Milan boss Allegri is set for some time away from the dugout following his Turin exit.

"Well my decision was even easier to take than I expected given that I haven't got an offer from any team," Allegri said. "So I have to stop.

"We are here today in this warm weather let's have a nice run and then we are ready for holidays."

Allegri was a surprise appointment at Juve in July 2014, his arrival initially met with some disapproval by the fans, but he added four Coppa Italia triumphs and two Champions League finals to his five top-flight crowns.

 

Cristiano Ronaldo hailed 2018-19 as an "unforgettable season" after he set records and lifted trophies with both Juventus and Portugal.

Ronaldo ended his nine-year stay at LaLiga giants Real Madrid in July 2018, moving to Italian champions Juve for €120million.

The 34-year-old more than repaid his transfer fee, scoring 21 Serie A goals as Massimiliano Allegri's Juventus cruised to an eighth successive Scudetto.

Ronaldo also became the first player to reach 100 wins and 125 goals in the Champions League, though Juve were eliminated by Ajax in the quarter-finals – a defeat which ultimately may have been the reason for Allegri's departure at the end of the campaign.

But Ronaldo was not done there, and after his success with his new club, led Portugal to a Nations League Finals triumph on home soil, scoring a stunning hat-trick in the semi-final win over Switzerland.

And, taking to his official Instagram channel, Ronaldo shared his joy at achieving so much over the course of the season.

"What an unforgettable season! New experiences, gigantic club, exciting city, broken records and three more titles," Ronaldo posted.

"I have to thank all of Juventus fans for the wonderful way I was welcomed in Italy! You're a very important part of our victories! 

"Thanks to all my fans around the world and particularly to the Portuguese people that helped us reach another historical win for Portugal! You'll always have a special place in my heart!

"Personally, I'll never forget the great moments and new record-breaking achievements I've had so far in 2019."

Ronaldo then went onto list some of his accolades from the season, including becoming the first player to win 10 UEFA titles, and being the first to score in all national team finals.

Cristiano Ronaldo has told James Rodriguez to join Juventus, according to Lothar Matthaus.

James – who is currently preparing for Colombia's Copa America campaign – is set to leave Real Madrid this off-season.

The playmaker has spent the last two campaigns on loan at Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich, but will not extend his stay in Germany.

And Bayern great Matthaus believes the 27-year-old has his heart set on a move to Serie A, with James' former Madrid club-mate Ronaldo having instructed him to join Juve.

"I see him at Juventus," Matthaus told Spanish publication AS.

"We had a conversation two weeks ago, during the celebration of Bayern's Bundesliga win.

"He is very close to Ronaldo and told me that he was in contact with him and that he has told him that he wants to have him at Juventus.

"I understand why as James can serve Ronaldo so that he can score and the two of them can shine."

James signed for Madrid in 2014, on the back of starring for Colombia and winning the golden boot at the World Cup in Brazil.

Juve are not the only Italian club rumoured to be interested in the former Monaco player, with Napoli boss Carlo Ancelotti, who was in charge of Los Blancos when James arrived at the Santiago Bernabeu, reportedly keen on his services.

Maurizio Sarri looks set to be appointed as Juve's coach, following Massimiliano Allegri's departure at the end of last season, with a compensation package reportedly agreed with Chelsea.

Chelsea marked the anniversary of Frank Lampard signing for the club amid reports the former midfielder Frank Lampard is set to take over from Maurizio Sarri.

Despite leading the club to a third-place finish in the Premier League, the final of the EFL Cup and Europa League glory against Arsenal, Sarri has by no means been a popular figure at Stamford Bridge.

The Italian, who left Napoli for Chelsea last year, is widely reported to be on the brink of being appointed as head coach by Juventus, who are seeking a successor to Massimiliano Allegri.

The switch was expected to be completed on Friday, when Chelsea noted on social media it was 18 years since Lampard, now managing Derby County, joined the club from West Ham.

"On this day in 2001... Frank Lampard became a Blue!" Chelsea posted on Twitter in a message that quickly racked up thousands of likes.

Lampard is regarded as a Chelsea great, winning three Premier League titles, four FA Cups and the 2011-12 Champions League and becoming the club's all-time leading goalscorer during his 13 years at Stamford Bridge.

In his first season as a manager in 2018-19, the 40-year-old led Derby to the Championship play-offs finals, but they were beaten 2-1 by Aston Villa at Wembley.

Massimiliano Allegri has confirmed he will take a year off from football after calling time on his trophy-laden spell with Juventus.

The 51-year-old won five Serie A titles with Juve before stepping down as head coach at the end of the 2018-19 campaign.

Allegri had been linked with a possible switch to Chelsea, with Blues boss Maurizio Sarri primed to move in the opposite direction, but he will instead take time to focus on personal matters.

"I am going to take a year off to recharge the batteries and get my personal life back in hand, rediscover after many years the affection of my family, children and friends," he said at an event in Milan on Thursday.

"The last 16 years have felt like being in a blender. You have to take time away from what you usually spend with family and friends.

"I'll use this year to recharge my batteries ahead of the next season."

Allegri was a surprise appointment at Juve in July 2014, his arrival initially met with some disapproval by the fans, but he added four Coppa Italia triumphs and two Champions League finals to his five top-flight crowns.

Adrien Rabiot has revealed he is in talks with Juventus over a possible move away from Paris Saint-Germain, with Manchester United also in the hunt for his signature. 

The France midfielder has been frozen out at PSG since mid-December after failing to agree a new contract with the Ligue 1 champions, with his deal expiring this month. 

A host of clubs are thought to be interested in securing his services but Juve – who are primed to hire Maurizio Sarri as their next head coach – appear to have stolen a march on their rivals.

"Yes, Juventus have been looking for me. We are talking," he said while on holiday in Italy in quotes reported by Corriere dello Sport.

"We are considering, we cannot say anything. I do not know. Juventus are a great club where every good player wants to go. 

"Manchester United? It's the same. I have to decide, for now I'm on vacation."

Rabiot has become an increasingly isolated figure at the Parc des Princes and in March his mother told L'Equipe her son was a "prisoner" of PSG.

The 24-year-old has won five league titles with Les Parisiens and made six appearances for France, though he missed out on a place in their triumphant 2018 World Cup squad. 

Mohamed Salah out and Nicolas Pepe in at Liverpool?

Liverpool are reportedly willing to sell star forward Salah in order to bring Lille's Pepe to Anfield.

Salah is coming off a memorable Champions League triumph with the Reds but could be heading out the door.

 

TOP STORY – SALAH COULD MAKE WAY FOR PEPE

According to le10sport, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is prepared to sacrifice Salah to sign Lille forward Pepe.

Pepe took Ligue 1 by storm with 22 goals as Lille qualified for the Champions League and Liverpool are believed to be among the Ivory Coast international's admirers.

The Reds are so keen apparently that they are prepared to sell top scorer Salah, who reportedly has a complicated relationship with Klopp.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Maurizio Sarri saga appears to be reaching its conclusion, with Sky Italy reporting Chelsea and Juventus have reached a deal to allow the Italian to move to the Serie A champions. The former Napoli coach's return to Italy is set to pave the way for ex-Chelsea star and Derby County manager Frank Lampard to take over at Stamford Bridge.

- According to AS, LaLiga champions Barcelona are making back-up plans should they miss out on Ajax captain Matthijs de Ligt, who is the subject of interest from Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United and Juve.

- Premier League title-holders Manchester City have been put off by a £90million price tag on Leicester City defender Harry Maguire, according to The Daily Mail. Pep Guardiola is reportedly eyeing the England international as a replacement for Vincent Kompany, while neighbours United are also interested.

- Liverpool are not interested in making another move for Lyon captain Nabil Fekir, The Independent reports. The Champions League winners came close to signing the France international last year but pulled out amid reported concerns over his knee.

- Carlo Ancelotti is still determined to bring Real Madrid midfielder James Rodriguez to Napoli, says AS. James' future is up in the air after Bayern Munich opted against signing the Colombia international permanently following a two-year loan spell.

- Cadena SER claims Barcelona head coach Ernesto Valverde is ready to sell Ivan Rakitic amid reported interest from United. The same station also says Marco Asensio is among the players on the market at Madrid following the arrivals of Eden Hazard, Luka Jovic, Ferland Mendy, Eder Militao and Rodrygo Goes.

- United and rumoured Madrid target Paul Pogba has no intention of remaining at Old Trafford in 2019-20, according to L'Equipe.

Miralem Pjanic is happy to stay at Juventus amid speculation he could leave the Serie A champions.

Clubs including Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid and Manchester City are all reportedly keen on the midfielder.

Speaking last month, Pjanic described PSG as a "club where all players are ready to go".

The 29-year-old has won the league in each of his three seasons at Juve since joining from Roma.

Despite rumours he could move on, the Bosnia-Herzegovina international is in no rush to leave Juve.

"I am calm, I still have a four-year contract with Juventus and we love each other," he told reporters.

"I feel good in Turin, I am at a serious club and I can still give a lot.

"I am also very happy with the fans and I repeat I am in a club that is great."

Juve are yet to appoint a replacement for departed head coach Massimiliano Allegri.

Maurizio Sarri is reportedly the Bianconeri's top target but the former Napoli boss is yet to be released by Chelsea.

 

One of the most in-demand players this off-season, Matthijs de Ligt's future could be about to come clearer.

A reported target for Barcelona, Manchester United and Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain are right in the mix to lure the Ajax captain to the French capital.

It is set to be a busy couple of weeks for agent Mino Raiola…

 

TOP STORY – PSG JUMP AHEAD IN DE LIGT RACE

According to Gianluca Di Marzio, Ligue 1 holders Paris Saint-Germain are in "advanced talks" for Matthijs de Ligt's signature.

After helping Netherlands reach the Nations League final, De Ligt is believed to be close to swapping Ajax for Paris - where PSG are craving Champions League success.

The report claims a deal could be finalised "shortly" after the looming return of director Leonardo from AC Milan, with LaLiga champions Barcelona the only other team in the mix.

 

ROUND-UP

- Premier League champions Manchester City and their rivals Manchester United could be pipped to the signing of Benfica sensation Joao Felix by Atletico Madrid, according to The Mirror.

- Tuttosport's front page features Mauro Icardi and fellow Argentine star Paulo Dybala. The story claims Juventus are the only team capable of signing Icardi from Serie A rivals Inter following Antonio Conte's arrival, with Dybala reportedly included in the potential deal.

- According to Tuttomercatoweb, Inter winger Ivan Perisic is a target for Premier League side Leicester City. The 30-year-old Croatia international has also been linked to Arsenal and Manchester United.

Napoli are preparing a €50million bid for PSV star Hirving Lozano, La Gazzetta dello Sport reports. The Italian side, who have also been linked to Real Madrid outcast James Rodriguez following a two-year loan spell at Bayern Munich, tracked the Mexico international throughout the 2018-19 campaign.

Tottenham are set to make a new offer for Real Betis and Argentina star Giovani Lo Celso, according to The Mirror. Spurs – who are looking to invest following an unexpected Champions League final berth – reportedly had a £53m bid knocked back for the midfielder.

- According to The Sun, Manchester United target Aaron Wan-Bissaka has asked Crystal Palace to grant him a move to the Red Devils. United – who are also reportedly eyeing Leicester City centre-back Harry Maguire – have already had an offer turned down. Moving further up the field and Sport claims Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side have made contact with Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic following their sixth-place finish in the Premier League.

Matthijs de Ligt insists he is yet to decide which club he will join in the coming months, although he will not allow kind words from Cristiano Ronaldo or Frenkie de Jong to sway him.

The Ajax star is one of the most sought-after talents in world football following an outstanding season in which he helped his club to the Champions League semi-finals.

Several of Europe's elite clubs are said to be chasing De Ligt, with Ronaldo encouraging the 19-year-old to join Juventus while former team-mate De Jong talked up a move to Barcelona.

But De Ligt has not yet made his decision and plans to take his time, telling Mundo Deportivo: "I still do not know what my heart says, I have been concentrated all the time on Ajax and the national team.

"Now, on my holidays, I will be able to think about it and decide what I am going to do with my future.

"For me, the most important thing is to know that in the team where I go I can have prominence and play many games. I do not know when I'll have it resolved, but I'm going to take my time."

Discussing the pitches from Ronaldo and De Jong, De Ligt continued: "Of course it would be nice [to be reunited with De Jong], but I must also look at what is best for me.

"I do not pay attention to anyone, I have to choose my own path."

Responding to suggestions Barca might not be able to match financial deals elsewhere, he added: "Money is not the problem.

"Maybe it's not the time yet. It's something I have to think about and decide during my holidays - nothing more."

Blaise Matuidi opted against leaving the pitch in protest when Juventus team-mate Moise Kean allegedly suffered racist abuse at Cagliari because it would have meant those purportedly involved "won".

Kean was said to be the subject of abuse from a section of fans in the Cagliari crowd when he scored Juve's second goal in a 2-0 win on April 2.

Matuidi, who previously said he had suffered similarly at the same stadium in 2018, appeared to indicate to coach Massimiliano Allegri that the Bianconeri should leave the pitch. No action was taken against Cagliari by Serie A on either occasion.

The midfielder is glad the team did not head town the tunnel, believing it was the right response to continue playing after Kean's 85th-minute strike.

"Leaving the field crossed my mind this season in Cagliari," Matuidi told France Football. "But I did not want to give up on my team-mates, we had a game to play.

"And, in hindsight, I was right, it's not the best solution. It's my point of view, we do not all have the same. When I left, I would have proved them right. That would mean they won.

"This fight is for us, the good people, who must win it, not them."

Matuidi expressed that racism is something that needs tacking on a much larger scale than just within football.

"I have never felt hatred for anyone. It's mostly anger," he added. "It has nothing to do with football stadiums and, unfortunately, it happens frequently around the world, in life too.

"At the moment, you feel disgusted. Football is not that. It's going to a stadium and getting positive emotion, with joys and sorrows because you win or you lose a match.

"But it stops there. For the rest, we are all equal. That's why we can experience sadness and disgust at times."

A Manchester United fan could soon be their next goalkeeper.

Atletico Madrid star Jan Oblak – a boyhood supporter of the Red Devils – is reportedly keen on a move to Old Trafford.

Talk of Oblak comes at a good time, with uncertainty continuing to hang over David de Gea's future at United.

 

TOP STORY – OBLAK EYES UNITED

Atletico's exodus could continue, with ESPN FC claiming Jan Oblak wants to leave LaLiga's runners-up following broken promises over his future.

Oblak is apparently keener on Premier League side United than Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain as Antoine Griezmann prepares to leave after the departures of captain Diego Godin, Lucas Hernandez, Juanfran and Filipe Luis.

The 26-year-old only signed a new Atletico deal until 2023 earlier this year. The report is music to the ears of United fans, with David de Gea no closer to signing a new contract amid reported interest from PSG.

 

ROUND-UP

- United are preparing a second bid, reportedly worth £50million, for Crystal Palace right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka according to Sky Sports after their initial offer was turned down.

- Marko Grujic could make a permanent move to Germany. After a successful loan spell at Hertha Berlin from Liverpool. Goal reports that Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt could use the money from Luka Jovic's sale to buy the 23-year-old. Champions League holders Liverpool are reportedly unwilling to accept anything less than £25m.

- Sticking with the Germany-Liverpool theme and the Reds have ruled out signing Werder Bremen striker Max Kruse, says the Liverpool Echo.

- According to Sky Sports, Tottenham could sign Marseille right-back Hiroki Sakai if Kieran Trippier leaves Spurs.

PSG are confident of signing Ajax's in-demand captain Matthijs de Ligt, per The Independent. The French giants are reportedly offering the 19-year-old centre-back the biggest financial package amid interest from Barcelona and United.

United are refusing to entertain offers for Real Madrid target Paul Pogba, AS reports. It comes as La Gazzetta dello Sport claims Mario Mandzukic, Douglas Costa, Juan Cuadrado, Joao Cancelo and Mattia Perin could be sold by Juventus to fund a move for their former midfielder.

Arsenal must raise their bid for Sampdoria pair Joachim Andersen and Dennis Praet after having a €48m offer rejected by the Serie A side, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport.

Juventus midfielder Miralem Pjanic expects the Serie A champions to appoint a "great" coach amid links to Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri.

Sarri has reportedly been granted a release by Premier League side Chelsea so he can replace Massimiliano Allegri on a three-year deal in Turin.

Allegri guided Juve to five successive Serie A titles before parting ways with the Italian giants at the end of 2018-19 and Pjanic has no concerns about the club's future.

"We are not worried at all, Juventus will be strong as always," Pjanic told reporters ahead of Bosnia-Herzegovina's Euro 2020 qualifier against Italy on Tuesday.

"I'm really happy to play against Italy in Turin. I think my red card against Greece was not fair, fortunately they removed my ban because I wanted to play against Italy in my stadium so badly.

"I repeat, I'm not worried about Juventus. They'll announce the new manager soon. As everyone is saying, our new manager will be a great one, for sure."

Juve's Allianz Stadium will be the location for the qualifier between Italy and Bosnia, who will be boosted by the return of Pjanic.

Pjanic was sent off in Bosnia's 2-2 draw at home to Greece in March, having given the hosts a 2-0 lead.

Italy top Group J with three wins from as many games, five points clear of third-placed Bosnia.

"It was not simple [for Italy] to come back. It was possible thanks to the experience of [head coach Roberto] Mancini but also to the leaders of this group," Pjanic said.

"Great professional that helped a lot even the young players after a bad moment for the national team. It's very unusual a World Cup without Italy. They are playing great football, people like watching them playing. It wasn't easy. We know that they are the favourite of the group, we'll try to stop them. It will be a difficult match because they have lot of great players."

Juventus and AC Milan have been told to give up their pursuits for highly rated Brescia midfielder Sandro Tonali by the club's president and owner Massimo Cellino.

Tonali, 19, is one of Italy's brightest prospects, having broken into Brescia's first-team picture at the age of 17.

A technically gifted deep-lying playmaker who is often likened to Azzurri and Milan great Andrea Pirlo, Tonali was first called up to the senior Italy side in November 2018, though he is yet to be capped.

He played 34 league games last season as Brescia were crowned Serie B champions and earned promotion back to the top flight, with many expecting the midfielder to be snapped up by a bigger club in the close season.

But Cellino is adamant Tonali is going nowhere having signed a new three-year deal just last August.

"We need to reinforce ourselves, but I believe we already have a competitive team, so we don't sell anyone," he told reporters on Monday.

"Offers for Tonali haven't arrived. I have no e-mail address, I don't have any offers. They [interested clubs] can send me carrier pigeons, but if I don't sell, I don't sell.

"Tonali is non-transferable. We need footballers, if we sell them what are we going to do? I won't sell him even for a crazy offer.

"Money does not play football, it is used to pay debts for those who have to sell players because they have spent too much. I have spent well and I can afford to keep him."

Cellino also reacted negatively to the idea of a deal that included Tonali being loaned back to Brescia for a season.

"I have been in football for 30 years and made my share of errors and I won't do them again. I have already done that c**p," he added.

.

Ajax and Netherlands star Matthijs de Ligt revealed Cristiano Ronaldo asked him if he would join Juventus next season.

De Ligt, 19, is expected to make a big-money move from Ajax in the close season, with Paris Saint-Germain or Barcelona reportedly his most likely destinations.

But Juve star Ronaldo wasted no time trying to get the defender to Turin after Portugal edged Netherlands 1-0 in the Nations League final on Sunday.

Asked if Ronaldo had questioned if he would be his team-mate at Juventus, De Ligt told NOS: "That could be true, yes.

"I didn't understand him at first. I was a little shocked, so I laughed, but I didn't say anything.

"Shortly after the game you are not at all concerned with it, you are disappointed you have lost and that is the only thing you are thinking about."

Manchester United and Liverpool have also been linked with a move for the centre-back, who enjoyed a stellar 2018-19 as Ajax reached the Champions League semi-finals.

But De Ligt is looking forward to a break before his future is decided, saying: "I will first go on a nice vacation and rest.

"I will let it happen and then I will see."

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