TURIN, Italy (Reuters) – Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri said Spanish striker Alvaro Morata would not be leaving the Serie A club in January, with Aaron Ramsey the only player likely to depart Turin this month.
Reports in the Italian and Spanish media have linked Spain international Morata with a move to Barcelona this month, while Welshman Ramsey is rumoured to be heading back to England as he looks for more regular action.
“Morata does not leave,” Allegri told a news conference on Wednesday ahead of his side’s clash with Napoli.
“He is a player who scored 21 goals last year, this year already seven. The problem with Alvaro is that he is seen as always lacking in something.
“I talked to him and told him that he doesn’t move from here because to find someone at his height and ability is very difficult. Alvaro remains with great enthusiasm, end of discussion.
“Ramsey is back in training today after saying he wanted to work in England – he will be the only outgoing player.”
Juve are languishing in fifth place in the Serie A standings ahead of the return of the league following the winter break.
Victory in the Juventus Stadium will move Juve two points behind third-placed Napoli, with Allegri not aiming any higher than that for now, with leaders Inter Milan 12 points ahead of Serie A’s most successful club.
“Inter are clearly the favourite team to win the Scudetto,” Allegri added. “I don’t want to put pressure on Simone (Inzaghi, Inter’s coach), but only you can lose the Scudetto.
“We have to take one step at a time and then let’s see.”
Italy captain Giorgio Chiellini will miss Thursday’s match having tested positive for COVID-19, but there was better news from Allegri on forwards Paulo Dybala and Federico Chiesa’s fitness, with both in contention to play on Thursday.
(Reporting by Peter Hall, editing by Pritha Sarkar)