The curtain will come down on Juventus‘ season in Florence at the weekend without a trophy to show for it.
Instead, as of this week, Juventus CEO Maurizio Arrivabene and sporting director Federico Cherubini have been planning the necessary rebuild that comes from such an abject campaign.
Massimiliano Allegri has the backing of the board but finds himself in a very delicate moment in Juventus’ history.
Juventus’ 2-2 draw with Lazio compounded another miserable campaign for the Turin side
They will go trophyless this season after Inter Milan beat them to win the Coppa Italia final
And yet the phenomenon of popular dissatisfaction towards one of the most successful men in the history of the club continues to linger in Turin. Allegri has never been completely loved despite the five consecutive Scudettos he won in his first spell in charge.
Since his return to the Juventus bench, the #AllegriOut hashtags continue to flood the internet, and now he has no silverware to placate his critics with.
Many players in this squad seem to no longer be able to compete at the highest level, which sets up a busy summer in and out of the Allianz Stadium.
Alex Sandro, Mattia De Sciglio, Federico Bernardeschi, Daniele Rugani and Moise Kean have all, for very different reasons, failed to grasp their opportunities and now it is necessary to look for new stars in the summer market to withstand the pressure of victory.
With that in mind, Sportsmail analyses what Allegri needs to sort this summer to put Juventus in the best position to be back on top…
WIN BACK THE FANS
From the perspective of the Juventus fans, Allegri carries the can for failing to establish a winning football philosophy since coming back.
The words of Carlos Tevez come to mind when, after a substitution in his time as a Juventus player, called Allegri ‘Cagon’ (coward in Spanish).
Allegri’s stylistic approach is a far cry from the in-vogue approaches of modern coaches such as Pep Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp and Julian Nagelsmann.
The Italian’s aim is simply to win, by any means, and often that has produced some eye-sore displays (without the winning, too!)
Massimiliano Allegri finds himself in a very delicate moment in the history of the football club
This year Allegri played without Miralem Pjanic, a player he would have liked to bring back to Turin in the summer or in January.
His 4-3-3 has been downsized several times to a slow and predictable 4-4-2, and this aspect has greatly unnerved the fans who are eager for more aggression from the team.
Juventus are falling behind the two Milan clubs but how long that lasts depends: when will they finally play to the strengths of their best players?
BUILD AROUND VLAHOVIC
Among Allegri’s most pressing concerns during this rebuild must be focusing his entire operation around Dusan Vlahovic.
During this season Allegri has, on several occasions, brought on a defender to replace Vlahovic, much to the ire of the fans.
For Andrea Agnelli, Allegri is untouchable, that much is clear, but next season will be a decisive one for him and perhaps also for the President.
Allegri retains the unconditional trust of Agnelli and also of 100 per cent of the changing room.
But he will have to do much better than this negative season in which he has collected fewer points than Pirlo, the man he replaced. There is no way to sugarcoat it.
Dusan Vlahovic arrived for £62m from Juventus but they have been unable to play to strengths
Vlahovic’s arrival should required a 4-3-3 system where team-mates force feed him the ball
He has made numerous errors: underestimating the shift needed to play without Cristiano Ronaldo being one and then failing to properly play to Vlahovic’s strengths, after he arrived in January, being the other
If Allegri fails to take advantage of Vlahovic in the next 12 months, his position will be in real jeopardy.
Juventus 2.0 must be built around the Serbian striker in a way that enhances his characteristics which made him so feared at Fiorentina.
Vlahovic has an excellent relationship with Allegri, which helped seal his move to Juventus, but as he showed when he ripped off his runners-up medal in the Coppa Italia final aftermath, he needs to be winning to be kept happy.
MOVE ON FROM DYBALA
The departures at the weekend were emotional but it is imperative the narrative around the club shifts quickly.
As reported by Gazzetta dello Sport, the climate in Turin is one of nervousness.
As Chiellini and Dybala left the pitch destroyed between sobs and tears, fans repeatedly booed Andrea Agnelli, Pavel Nedved and Maurizio Arrivabene every time they were framed by the TV cameras.
Fans are blaming the hierarchy for what has been seen as irresponsible decisions ahead of the transfer market, Dybala being one.
Dybala was a fans’ favourite player but Arrivanene made different choices, in part due to the player’s continuing physical problems.
Whatever happens from here, there cannot be a hangover of what might have been had a fit Dybala stuck around. If he goes to Inter, then so be it.
Juventus need to look to the future, not to the past.
Paulo Dybala could not hide his emotion as he also played his last game for the Italian giants
BRING IN PROVEN WINNERS
Juventus are in a bind of needing to add genuine star power, without also breaching what is an increasingly strict budget.
Matthjis de Ligt, on in the region of 10million euros a year, is the top earner and Vlahovic, on closer to 7.5m euros a year, is expected to be the new benchmark.
Dybala and Giorgio Chiellini’s exits free up some wages; those two alone could see the club save in the region of 40m euros.
Juventus have always been a sucker for a free transfer and it too has proven a popular landing spot for free agents.
Angel Di Maria, out of contract with Paris Saint-Germain following this weekend’s final league game with Metz, Ivan Perisic, who scored twice in the Coppa Italia final to defeat Juventus, and Paul Pogba, out of contract after Manchester United’s season finale with Crystal Palace, are among the names who fit the Juventus brief. Flashy names. Not so flashy price tag.
Ivan Perisic (middle) haunted Juventus last week but he is an attractive free agent to them
PERISIC: Admittedly, the Croatian winger is no longer young – he’s 33 – but he proved in that thrilling Coppa Italia final that he still has at least three to four years ahead of him at the highest level.
According to Gazzetta dello Sport, Juventus have contacted the player’s entourage, offering a three-year contract worth around 5m euros.
Juventus’ future tactical scheme appears to be edging towards a 4-3-3 and Perisic would act as a perfect winger in that system.
The Croatian would like have no problem accepting Turin as a landing spot but there is a growing suspicion that Juventus are simply trying to distract Inter amid talk of their pursuit of Dybala. Mind games galore, then.
DI MARIA: If 4-3-3 is the way to go and Perisic ends up staying in Milan, Juventus could do a lot worse than a 34-year-old Di Maria.
The Argentine is in need of a new experience away from PSG and he would be incredibly useful to a young team that will be without Chiellini’s leadership.
Chiellini has decided to try an experience in MLS and at the moment only Vlahovic, De Ligt and Chiellini seem to have a lot of charisma in this current crop.
The free agency pickup of Di Maria would bring genuine enthusiasm in the dressing room and would provide Allegri with flexibility given the Argentine can be deployed as a winger or midfielder, where he impressed for years with Real Madrid.
Angel Di Maria (left) of PSG and Manchester United’s Paul Pogba is a bad take from this
POGBA: The curious case of Pogba. A man who seems to love going back for round two at clubs.
The Frenchman appears closest to Juventus of the three players mentioned here.
According to Tuttosport, Juventus offered around eight million euros plus bonuses: an offer equal to the one previously made to Dybala, which he turned down.
Pogba would need to give up about four million euros compared to what he receives at Manchester United – and that is is the obvious risk to the deal imploding.
Juventus hold an exemplary relationship with Enzo Raiola, cousin of the late Mino Raiola, and he is the one looking after Pogba’s future.
If on the one hand there is Pogba’s desire to return to Italy, on the other there is an offer than is inferior in personal value than the one from PSG.
Allegri is one of the coaches who improved Pogba the most in his career and this will likely be a key point during negotiations.
At PSG, Pogba would be one of many players available whereas in Turin he would slot in as the top player in the midfield.
Eagle-eyed supporters will also be paying close attention to progression of Nicolo Fagioli
PS. DON’T COUNT FAGIOLI OUT
Nicolo Fagioli is only 21 and while he is seen as a future star by Juventus, the midfielder, who is on loan to Cremonese, sees his contract expire in June 2023.
Sportsmail understands that in the next few days there will be a decisive match to determine the Fagioli’s future, with former Juventus boss Maurizio Sarri keen to take him to Lazio.
Fagioli is viewed in some quarters as the designated heir of Andrea Pirlo and still today the midfielder maintains close friendships with the son of the Italian coach Nicolò, a fashion entrepreneur.
Fagioli’s dream is to return to Juventus to become the key player of the midfield. With Pogba’s name circling, the odds may be stacked against him… but could Fagioli out at your peril.