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Allegri reveals overnight Real Madrid U-turn after signing contract as he decided to join Juventus instead

13:46 GMT+3 31/03/2022
Massimiliano Allegri Milan Juventus Serie A
The Italian tactician was out of work when agreeing a deal with La Liga heavyweights, but quickly decided that a stint in Spain was not for him

Massimiliano Allegri has revealed that he signed a contract with Real Madrid to become their next manager, only to make an overnight U-turn on a decision that ultimately paved the way for him to return to Juventus.

The Italian tactician agreed to head back to Turin for a second spell with the Bianconeri in May 2021, having previously guided Serie A heavyweights to five domestic title triumphs and two Champions League finals.

His career path could, however, have been markedly different had he honoured an agreement with La Liga giants that barely saw his signature dry before said paperwork was ripped up.

What has been said?

Discussing his links to Real, who had been in the market for a successor to Zinedine Zidane before settling on the familiar figure of Carlo Ancelotti, Allegri told GQ: “I had already signed an agreement with Real Madrid.

“Then in the morning I called the president [Florentino Perez] and told him that I would not go because I had chosen Juventus. He thanked me. Since Juventus called me in May I have had no doubts.”

He added on snubbing the Blancos for a second time in his coaching career: “On a professional level [to become Real Madrid boss] it would have been the culmination of a path, of course: Milan, Juve, Real.

“But in your life you can't always have everything and I'm really happy and proud to have coached Milan for four years and now to be in my sixth year in a club like Juventus.

“I said no to Real Madrid twice. The first time was while I was talking about a renewal with Juve - I told the Real Madrid president that I had already given my word to Andrea Agnelli.”

The bigger picture

In his absence, Real have made their way to the top of the Liga table and through to the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

Juve bowed out of Europe at the last-16 stage against Villarreal, are seven points off the pace in Serie A and hold a narrow lead over Fiorentina in their Coppa Italia semi-final.

Success is not proving as easy to come by for Allegri as it did during his first stint in Turin, but he is looking to embrace those challenges while returning an ambitious outfit to the top of domestic and continental games.

Quizzed on whether Juve are a different club now to the one he left in 2019, the 54-year-old said: “It is. And it is a nice, interesting challenge that I am lucky enough to face alongside owners that have always been the same, and that, like me, want to win again.

“When I first arrived in 2014 it was all different; Antonio Conte had done a great job with the club, winning three championships and building a very strong team that only needed to be refined.

“This year is a very different team with many young players, with strong players that have less experience. But we are starting from a clear base, which is the DNA of Juventus, and which consists of returning to winning ways but knowing how to suffer and always want to fight.”

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