'Allegri needs time to transform Juventus' – Patience required after summer of sweeping changes in Turin

The Bianconeri are still coming to terms with the loss of several key men – as well as their disappointment at seeing their primary transfer target, Julian Draxler, join Wolfsburg


GOAL ANALYSIS   By Romeo Agresti


To describe the conclusion of Juventus’ transfer window as frenetic would not do it justice. The Bianconeri have earned a reputation for being shrewd operators because of the way in which they have worked the market in recent years. Paul Pogba, Andrea Pirlo, Carlos Tevez – the Bianconeri have re-established themselves as a major force in European football thanks to a succession of sensational signings. Moreover, they usually go about their business calmly and competently. It was the same this summer but then things descended into chaos in the final days of the window.

Juve were confident of addressing their long-standing need for a No.10 by signing Schalke starlet Julian Draxler. However, they failed to reach an agreement with the Bundesliga outfit and the Germany international instead joined Wolfsburg on deadline day, much to the Bianconeri’s annoyance and embarrassment. In their desperation to provide Allegri with the trequartista he has repeatedly and publicly requested, the Italian champions turned to Inter midfielder Hernanes. After previous links with attacking midfielders of the calibre of Isco and Oscar, it was hard for most Juve fans to react to the arrival of Hernanes with anything other than a sense of anti-climax.

And it’s not as if they were in a great mood anyway, with Allegri’s men having lost their first two Serie A games for the first time in history. Indeed, there was a fear that Juve had been weakened over the summer and the losses to Udinese and Roma appeared to confirm as much. However, a period of adjustment was likely, given the high turnover of players in Turin this summer. The departures of Pirlo, Tevez and Arturo Vidal were always going to be keenly felt. These were players that were as influential off the field as on it, thus making them difficult to replace.

Juve’s response was to undertake a complete renewal of Massimiliano Allegri’s squad, signing several quality youngsters – Paulo Dybala, Simone Zaza, Daniele Rugani, Alex Sandro and Mario Lemina – as well as a couple of experienced internationals in Mario Mandzukic and Sami Khedira. It may appear rash but a cycle was over and Juventus knew this. For this reason, the powers that be at Corso Galileo Ferraris decided to make several new signings, to renew the motivation of a group that has won so much, as it would have been foolish to move forward with the same panel.

Yes, the fans are understandably unhappy with and concerned by a historically poor start to Juve’s bid for a fifth successive Scudetto, but there was always an acceptance that there could be, and most likely would be, some teething problems.

Plus, there are some grounds for optimism. The earlly signs are that Dybala, signed from Palermo for a fee that could rise to €40 million, is the man to trust in both the short and long term. The Argentine has obvious natural ability but what has impressed most thus far is his personality, with the 21-year-old already looking like a character capable of taking on the responsibility of leading the club into a new era of success.

The onus is now on Allegri and his assistants, though, to get the best out a squad that has suffered so many painful departures. There is obvious room for improvement but making so many signings was an admirable admission that change was essential. Juve have been dominating domestically for four years now but new arrivals were required to take the Bianconeri to the next level in Europe. The hope is that reaching the final of the Champions League will come to be viewed as normal rather than an anomaly.

However, everything hinges on how quickly Allegri can successfully mesh the summer signings with the experienced core. Last season’s successes have bought the former AC Milan boss time, which is just as well, because on the evidence of the opening two rounds of the new season, he is going to need it.

Official: Bournemouth sign Murray from Crystal Palace

The 31-year-old has signed a three-year deal with the Cherries, becoming manager Eddie Howe’s ninth senior arrival of a busy summer transfer window


Bournemouth have confirmed they have signed Glenn Murray from Crystal Palace on a three-year deal.

The former Brighton and Hove Albion frontman joins the Cherries for a fee reported to be around £4 million, becoming Eddie Howe’s ninth arrival of a busy summer.

TRANSFER: @GM_83 has joined @afcbournemouth for an undisclosed fee. #CPFC We wish Glenn all the best at #AFCB pic.twitter.com/3bywV3WcpU

— Crystal Palace FC (@CPFC) September 1, 2015

Murray scored 44 goals in 114 league appearances for Palace after arriving at Selhurst Park in 2011.

The 31-year-old forced himself into Alan Pardew’s first-team plans towards the end of last season but the summer arrivals of Connor Wickham and Chelsea loanee Patrick Bamford pushed him back down the pecking order.

Real Madrid's full statement on collapse of De Gea deal

Los Blancos have claimed that they did everything possible to make the transfer happen and that the fault lies with the Red Devils for not sending relevant documentation in time


Real Madrid have blamed Manchester United for the collapse of their deal to sign David de Gea before the close of the summer transfer window in Spain on Monday.Los Blancos reached a player-plus-cash agreement with the Premier League side that would have seen the Spain international join for £29 million and Keylor Navas move in the opposite direction.

However, the transfer never went through and Madrid have now issued a statement claiming that they did everything possible to make it happen.“After the events of yesterday [Monday] in relation to the alleged hiring of David de Gea player, Real Madrid wishes to state:

“1) Manchester United didn’t open any path of negotiation for the registration rights to David De Gea until yesterday morning.

“2) Real Madrid, despite the difficulties associated with completing a deal of this type on the final day of registration, accepted the initiating of these conversations.

“3) When Manchester United entered into these negotiations yesterday morning they did so subject to being able to reach an agreement with Real Madrid player Keylor Navas, in order that he would join the British club from this season, and informed that they were in contact with the representatives of said player.

More to follow…

Real Madrid: We did everything necessary in De Gea transfer from Man Utd

The Spanish outfit has stated that they did as much as they possibly could to sign the goalkeeper before the national deadline closed on Monday


Real Madrid have claimed they did everything possible to sign goalkeeper David de Gea from Manchester United.

The £29 million deal to sign the Spain international would have seen Keylor Navas go in the opposite direction for around £10m, but the necessary paperwork was not completed before Monday’s midnight CET deadline.

In a written statement on the club’s official website, the Blancos have revealed a timeline of events to support their assertion that they could have done nothing more to secure De Gea’s services.

After explaining that United had not agreed to talks relating to a transfer until Monday morning, Madrid say they responded as quickly as possible at every stage of the process.

“Manchester United entered the TMS data from the operation of David de Gea, but not those of Keylor Navas, at 00:00 Spanish time, simultaneously referring to Real Madrid signed transfer contracts,” said the club statement.

“Real Madrid received the full documentation at 00:02 and tries to access the TMS but it was already closed.

“At 00:26 Spanish time the computer system of FIFA TMS made an invitation to Real Madrid to fill in data for the player David de Gea, given that the deadline for registration in England remains open to this day.

“Real Madrid, in the eventuality of a possible contest regarding the transfer of the player, decided to refer the contract to the Professional Football League (LFP), despite knowing that the deadlines had expired.

“In short, the Real Madrid has done everything necessary, and at all times, to implement these two transfers.”

The Madrid statement makes no mention of a potential appeal to the LFP, with the club now believed to have accepted that their quest for De Gea’s signature has come to an end.

Real Madrid blame Manchester United for collapse of De Gea deal

Los Blancos have claimed that they did everything possible to ensure that the proposed transfer of the Spain international went through


Real Madrid have blamed Manchester United for the collapse of their deal to sign David de Gea before the close of the summer transfer window in Spain on Monday.

More to follow…