Juventus take on Atalanta tomorrow in the Coppa Italia, and before the game manager Massimiliano Allegri spoke to the media. With the January transfer window open, he was asked what players the Bianconeri are looking at to bolster his side, and his answer surprised quite a few people.
“No, I absolutely haven’t asked for anything. I don’t expect anything because, I repeat, at Juventus you have to take players who will improve the squad.
“If there’s a chance then the club - as they have done in recent years - will take it, otherwise it’s better to stay with the very good players we have.
“It’s useless to have a lot of players you don’t need, especially if they won’t improve the quality of the squad.
“I’d rather bring in the Primavera lads who are good and get them working with the first team, then maybe they’ll get their chance in the course of the season.”
In a squad update, Allegri went on to say that Marko Pjaca would make a long-awaited return from injury.
“I’ll have to look at training today and tomorrow to decide and evaluate.
“Tomorrow I’ll put out the best team for tomorrow’s game, there won’t major changes, partly because we don’t have many available at the back.
“Giorgio Chiellini is suspended, and we’ll evaluate Leonardo Bonucci today to see if he can at least make the bench.
“Someone will have to be rested in the midfield and I’ll evaluate that. Paulo Dybala has to play because he hasn’t played much, and to find consistency he has to play.
“Pjaca has been out for a long time, he’ll definitely play a half. I don’t know if it’ll be the first half or the second half, but he’ll play one of them.”
He also had nothing new to report on the chatter that Patrice Evra was on his way out of the club.
“The situation with Evra is the same as it was two days ago. We spoke to Patrice, we spoke and at the moment that’s the situation.
“We don’t know how it will come out, but at the moment the situation is very clear with him. It was very clear with us and with me.
“The relationship with him… He was clear and I was clear. That’s the situation, he has to take some time to decide whether to go or stay.
“Given that this is the situation, it’s fair that he takes some time to reflect, then we’ll see. There’s time until January 31.”
New signing Tomas Rincon could also make an appearance tomorrow.
“[Tomas] Rincón could play, because this morning I saw that Stefano Sturaro has a bit of a cold, so we’ll see who is available in midfield. But Rincón could play from the start.
“On Sunday we have an important game in Florence where Stephan Lichtsteiner is suspended, so Lichtsteiner will play tomorrow.”
No team in Italy has ever completed a Coppa Italia hat-trick, and Juventus have won the tournament twice in a row.
“It’s not about the record, it’s about entering the competition tomorrow and knowing that we have to play to get to the end.
“It’s not easy this year, because have Atalanta and then we’ll have another tough opponent in the Quarters and another in the Semis if we’re good enough to get there.
“So we’ll take it a game at time. Tomorrow we’re facing a good Atalanta team, that plays well against whoever they face.
“So if we don’t approach the game tomorrow in the right way we’ll go out. Tomorrow is a final, there will be normal time, and the risk of extra time which we have to avoid because on Sunday we have a difficult game in Florence.
“So if we can save some energy tomorrow it would be important, but it won’t be easy.”