MELBOURNE, Australia — Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri says the club are “doing very well” with their summer transfer business but again refused to answer questions on the future of Manchester United target Paul Pogba or the potential arrival of Napoli striker Gonzalo Higuain.
On Monday, The Guardian reported that United have made an increased offer of £92 million plus £10m in add-ons in a bid to secure a world-record transfer for the midfielder, who left Old Trafford on a free transfer in 2012 after refusing to sign a new contract.
Allegri refused to comment on the situation — and reports linking Juve with a €97.4m move for Higuain — following Juve’s defeat on penalties to Melbourne Victory on Friday.
And addressing the media in Melbourne ahead of the Old Lady’s second International Champions Cup match against Tottenham Hotspur on Tuesday, he was again tight-lipped.
“I am not going to talk about the transfer market news, we are just here to get ready. The club is going to talk about the transfer market and they are doing very well so I am happy in that regard,” he said.
Allegri expects to hand Juventus debuts to summer signings Miralem Pjanic and Medhi Benatia against Spurs and said the match against Mauricio Pochettino’s side would be an important part of the preparations for the new season.
“Benatia is going to play as well as Pjanic and [Roberto] Pereyra,” Allegri said. “Probably we are going to play with four defenders with either a young player or Alex Sandro at right-back.
“It is an important test. We will use it to test our condition. We will then finish our training season for the summer in Hong Kong. Tomorrow is going to be a very different game [to Tuesday]. There is going to be more intensity.
“I am going to try and play the players who played the first half of the last game more, even though it was only the first match. We are not sure if they are in the ideal condition to play a full match.”
The Bianconeri work on shape in front of tonight’s crowd at @AAMIPark ⚽⚫⚪ #ICCJUVTOT #ICC2016 #ICCMelb pic.twitter.com/ivpaqNKKar
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Juventus failed to win in their first three games at the start of last season but still went on to claim a fifth successive Scudetto. Allegri is hoping this summer’s preparations set his side up for a better start to the new campaign.
“Again, tomorrow we are going to see a different, more intense game. We are going to play very important teams right from the beginning [of the Serie A season],” he added.
“At the end in the league, what is going to matter is getting as many wins as possible, so it doesn’t matter if it is against an important team or a middle team.
“If we think about last year, we managed to achieve only one point form the first three [match] days so surely we will not be able to make it worse than last season.”
Dan is ESPN FC’s Tottenham correspondent. Follow him @Dan_KP or on Facebook.