Outside of his usual side-stepping of starting lineup questions at his weekly press conferences, I've really come to like what Max Allegri says in interviews. He is thoughtful and calm, insightful and level-headed. Sometimes we see other managers try and use the press as a way to deflect criticism or just go on rants that really have no place to begin with.
I bring this up because Allegri, who's probably enjoying a nice little vacation before preseason training starts up again next month, was interviewed for Monday's edition of the Gazzetta dello Sport. That interview was like so many other Allegri interviews since he has taken over as Juventus manager. They're really, really good and extremely well done. Whenever you hear the man speak — or read in the paper/online, in this case — you can tell, outside of the "I don't really know who my starting lineup will really be or what formation I will use" kind of cracks, that it is genuine.
In the Gazzetta, Allegri's interview hit a wide variety of topics. Some were about the recent past during his first season at Juventus, some about what the future holds for a club he's suddenly a central figure at. Here's a few pieces of said interview with the man who just led Juventus to a domestic double and the Champions League final for the first time in 12 years.
On what Juventus' objectives will be entering the 2015-16 season:
"We have the usual objectives — Scudetto, Coppa Italia and I dream about the Champions League going forward. The primary objective is to make history by recording a fifth consecutive Scudetto — Juve only managed that in the 1930s and it was another world then."
So folks might think "Well shouldn't the Serie A title be a given considering how dominant Juve have been the last few years?" and that would be true. Others may say "How can a team stay motivated if the prime objective is to win a league they've won so many times before?" and they wouldn't necessarily be wrong, either. But as we've come to find out about this group of Juventus players and the amount of legitimate and quality leaders it currently has — both on the field and in the management sector — racking up Scudetti will never ever get old. Just watch the way they celebrate these titles every year. That's the reward for all the months of work they put in every season.
On any potential transfer targets this summer:
"It's true that I asked for a No. 10. I like Oscar a lot. He's a player who can make the difference on the European stage as well, which is great as it's not a given that a great league player can perform in Europe. I like him, but I also like Isco, [Javier] Pastore, [Angel] Di Maria and [Toni] Kroos.
"There aren't many centre forwards in circulation. Mandzukic, Higuain ... not many others. Mandzukic would be a good element to help relaunch our attack. The contract isn't a formality, but there is the desire to go forward together."
To continue to compete on three fronts and make more deep runs in the Champions League, depth will continue to be important for Juventus. That's not just having a strong starting lineup, but also on the bench to allow Allegri to rotate his squad. One of the many transfer rumors back in January revolved around the hunt for a starting trequartista as Allegri went with a full-time switch to a 4-3-1-2 formation. With nothing coming of such talk and rumored negotiations to bring somebody like Wesley Sneijder to Turin, Allegri settled for Arturo Vidal or Roberto Pereyra in the spot behind the strikers.
Who knows if anything will materialize when it comes to signing a No. 10 this summer, but it's not like Max was trying to keep his admiration for Oscar under wraps to begin with, I suppose. I guess those rumors about Juve being interested in Oscar do have some truth to them. Damn I hate when the British media actually gets something close to correct.
On Álvaro Morata:
"If we must sell Morata, I'd hope that the club takes in at least €70-80m as that is his true value. I think we must look to him and also to [Kingsley] Coman, who is another youngster with exceptional quality."
I really don't want Morata to leave. Neither should you. That's because he's already a damn good striker and progressed a pretty good amount over the course of the season after he became a regular starter.
On continuing to bring talented youngsters to Juventus and their importance to the club these days:
"If we have the right young players, why not? People like [Paulo] Dybala can help construct a cycle. To be at the top in Europe you need the right mentality and the right key players. We agree at the club — we need experienced players who can help the younger ones develop."
Dybala is going to be the headliner because of how much Juventus has spent on him this summer. (That's €32 million plus bonuses, in case you forgot.) Regardless of Carlos Tévez's future heading into the 2015-16, Dybala is bound to play a big part in the lineup. You don't spend that kind of money on somebody like Dybala only to have him sit on the bench more often than not. Well, unless you're some British club that has money to throw around like it's a rap video. And unlike Morata this past season, there won't be any kind of acclamation period to Serie A for Dybala, who was arguably Palermo's best player this year.