Allegri and Juventus in surprise split at end of season

Massimiliano Allegri. (Reuters)
Updated 18 May 2019

Allegri and Juventus in surprise split at end of season

ROME: Coach Massimiliano Allegri will leave Juventus at the end of the season after a reported fall-out with the club’s directors, the newly-crowned Serie A champions said in a surprise statement on Friday.
“Massimiliano Allegri will not be on the Juventus bench for the 2019/2020 season,” Juve announced in a shock development.
Allegri, 51, had rejected reports saying he was about to be dismissed last Saturday adding he had already been making plans for next year over the past six months.
He held meetings with the club’s hierarchy this week during which a clear disagreement between the two parties emerged.
Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport claimed they fell out over a variety of subjects including Allegri’s desire for an increased salary and a differing vision of the side’s future.
Juventus have already wrapped up their record eighth consecutive title, and Allegri’s fifth in as many years and he lifted the Coppa Italia on four occasions since replacing Antonio Conte in 2014.
The club’s former midfielder Conte along with France boss and ex-defender and coach Didier Deschamps, Champions League finalist Mauricio Pochettino of Tottenham and Lazio’s Simone Inzaghi have been linked with taking over from Allegri in the Italian press in recent weeks.
Allegri’s departure from the Allianz Stadium will alert a host of big European outfits and his name shot up the bookmakers’ list of favorites to be the next permanent coach at Inter Milan and Chelsea.
Despite signing Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid last summer the Bianconeri failed to make it past the quarter-finals of the European football’s top competition for the second successive season.
They were humiliated by modest-spending Ajax in the last eight in April despite a star-studded side including Ronaldo, Argentina’s Paulo Dybala and France World Cup winner Blaise Matuidi.
Allegri guided Juve to two European finals losing to Barcelona in 2015 before being hammered by Real Madrid two years later.
The pressure to bring the much-desired trophy back to Turin for the first time since 1996 was also alleged to be part of the fall-out according to Gazzetta.
Wales midfielder Aaron Ramsey has already signed for the Italian club on a free transfer from Arsenal for next season.
Local press reported Allegri had been keen to sell the likes of Dybala, Brazil winger Douglas Costa and Portugal right-back Joao Cancelo in the upcoming summer transfer window.
Allegri and club president Andrea Agnelli will hold a press conference on Saturday.


Boult, Southee rattle Sri Lanka in second Test

Updated 23 August 2019

Boult, Southee rattle Sri Lanka in second Test

  • Weather permitting, extended playing time is planned for the day after only 36.3 overs were possible on Thursday due to rain in the Sri Lankan capital

COLOMBO: Trent Boult and Tim Southee led New Zealand’s charge against Sri Lanka on day two of the rain-hit second Test on Friday, with the host skipper Dimuth Karunaratne’s offering resistance with a half-century.
Boult took two early wickets in one over after Sri Lanka resumed the day on 85 for two at Colombo’s P. Sara Oval, where the start was delayed due to a wet outfield.
Sri Lanka were 144 for six at lunch with Dhananjaya de Silva, on 32, and Dilruwan Perera, on five, at the crease.
Southee, like Boult, also delivered a double-wicket maiden as the duo put on a superb display of seam bowling under overcast conditions.
Boult got overnight batsman Angelo Mathews caught behind for two to reach a landmark of 250 Test wickets — only the third Kiwi bowler to achieve the feat.
He trapped Kusal Perera lbw for nought after just three balls as Sri Lanka slipped to 93-4 and would have been in further trouble had Boult held on to a simple catch from de Silva off his own bowling a few overs later.
Karunaratne also got a lifeline on 61 when Kane Williamson could not grab a tough chance at short mid-wicket off Ajaz Patel.
But the left-hander, who completed his 23rd Test fifty after resuming the day on 49, soon fell, caught behind off Southee for 65.
Southee struck again in the same over to send Niroshan Dickwella trudging back to the pavilion for nought.
Perera then played out the rest of the session with de Silva.
Medium-pace bowler Colin de Grandhomme and spinner William Somerville took a wicket each on the opening day after Sri Lanka elected to bat first.
Weather permitting, extended playing time is planned for the day after only 36.3 overs were possible on Thursday due to rain in the Sri Lankan capital.