Juventus head coach Antonio Conte’s shock resignation on Tuesday has left the club’s supporters asking many questions. The most worrisome of the fans’ issues is whether the Italian giants are facing a demoralizing player exodus following the departure of their tactical and motivational leader.
The news today from Turin is that Juventus have appointed the former Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri as coach to replace Antonio Conte. So the club have not remained “rudderless” for long.
But the sudden exit of Conte has many speculating that the former Bianconeri midfielder had locked horns with Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli regarding the club’s transfer policy.
In May, after celebrating the Bianconeri’s third striaght Scudetto, Conte hinted he could quit Juventus if they failed to invest in players during the summer break. The panic in Turin quickly subsided once the 44-year-old manager announced that he would be staying on for another season at the club.
But one day into the start of Juventus’ preseason, Conte has clearly had a change of heart.
The manager has been linked with jobs at Monaco and the Italian national team in the past. But speculation is there has been some kind of new development that has driven a wedge between the club and its now-former manager.
Legendary Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi ‘Gigi’ Buffon mused on the topic: “The reason? I don’t know, as I haven’t spoken to [Conte], though I will do as soon as possible. When you reach decisions like this, the only reason can be you no longer want to continue this type of work.” The 36-year-old keeper went on to say, “Maybe something happened over the last few days that destabilized the situation.”
Whatever the reasons for his departure, supporters of the Italian giants are mourning the loss of their inspirational leader and fearing the immediate direction of their beloved Bianconeri.
With rumors running rampant in the media regarding potential transfers of Arturo Vidal (to Manchester United or Bayern Munich) and Paul Pogba (to PSG), the club’s supporters are fearing a player exodus from Turin.
And recent footballing news won’t provide much relief to those fears.
Southampton Football Club (Premier League) watched as their executive chairman, Nicola Cortese, left his position in January. The 45-year-old Italian banker was the mastermind behind the club’s rise from League One in 2009 to the Saints’ ascent to the Premiership in 2012.
Cortese continually stressed to club ownership that they do not sell their prized assets. The ex-Southampton chairman believed Saints would risk undermining their recent success if they sold their best young players.
Once Cortese left, it was only a matter of time before manager Mauricio Pochettino followed. The Argentinian manager was hired by Cortese and shared in his philosophy of retaining and nurturing Southampton’s young stars.
With both men out of the picture, Southampton has started to dismantle their talented squad, piece by piece.
Rickie Lambert and Adam Lallana have since moved to Liverpool. Luke Shaw has also departed the club with a mega-money move to Manchester United.
For the sake of The Old Lady of Italian football, let’s hope their club isn’t facing a similar fate.