The Max Allegri-to-Chelsea rumors have been flying thick and fast since Jason Burt published an exclusive interview in The Telegraph this weekend, in which the Juventus maestro said he wouldn’t take another club job in Italy if and when his time in Torino comes to an end.
That was followed by the rather predictable red-top hysteria, which probably can be safely ignored, but on Thursday the more respectable Italian outlet Corriere dello Sport stirred things up again. Specifically, they speculate that big changes may be coming to Juventus and Allegri might be one of them, with Carlo Ancelotti at the top of their list of potential replacements.
It’s certainly not helping that Juventus collapsed against Real Madrid in the Champions League in the meantime, leading to plenty of frustration among the fanbase and even some serious ITK Twitter rumors about an impending departure.
Massimiliano #Allegri avrebbe già comunicato il suo addio a fine stagione alla squadra il giorno dopo Juve-Real.— Momblano Official (@MomblanOfficial) April 5, 2018
What Corriere don’t say is that Allegri might go to Chelsea. But their story begs an obvious question: why would Juve have a replacement manager in mind if they were positive that Allegri, who just signed a contract that theoretically keeps him there through 2020, is going to stay?
Things aren’t completely serene and settled at the Turin club. Besides losing at home to Real Madrid in their Champions League quarter-final, which makes it highly unlikely that they’ll be heading back to the final for a third time in four years, all-universe goalkeeper Gianlugi Buffon is set to retire (with Wojciech Szczęsny his heir apparent), and 35-year-old right-back Stephan Lichtsteiner, midfielder Kwadwo Asamoah and 32-year-old club legend Claudio Marchisio may follow him out of the door.
Allegri himself is wrapping up his fourth season (and likely fourth scudetto) with the Old Lady. Manager burn-out is a thing. Clubs with Champions League aspirations have been known to take domestic success for granted and look for a manager who can bring them the cup with big ears.
No serious outlet is claiming that Allegri is definitely on his way out (yet?), either voluntarily or otherwise. But if a somewhat-respectable sports outfit can claim that Juventus are engaged in succession management even though their manager is safely under contract, especially if that manager has also been (tenuously) linked with Chelsea, then it’s a situation probably worth keeping an eye on.