Allegri still hopes to keep Morata at Juventus


Massimiliano Allegri remains hopeful that Alvaro Morata will stay at Juventus as he predicts a turbulent transfer market ahead of next season.

The future of Spain international Morata remains shrouded in doubt, with speculation that Real Madrid will exercise their buy-back option on the striker before selling him to bolster their own transfer plans.

Morata has admitted that leaving Juve remains "a real possibility", even though he has professed a desire to stay with the Serie A champions, for whom he has scored 11 goals in all competitions this season.

But despite Juve being linked with possible deals for Valencia midfielder Andre Gomes and Madrid's James Rodriguez, Allegri says he does not want to sanction the sale of any of his first-team players.

"I would hate to lose any player," he said on Friday when asked about Morata. "He's got back to doing well once again. I hope he stays at Juventus.

"There are many good players, in Italy and abroad. It will be a strange market and a long one, especially with the Euros [Euro 2016 finals]. Juve will make a competitive team."

Juve sealed the permanent signing of Mario Lemina this week and Allegri is delighted with the 22-year-old's efforts in Turin so far, despite this season being interrupted by injury problems.

"I gave my technical judgment to the board. He started the season with a problem with his patellar tendon, but he's always played well when called upon," he said. "He's a young player with a bright future ahead. Juve have done well to sign him."

Juve clinched the Scudetto on Monday after Roma's 1-0 win over Napoli, but Allegri has urged his players not to allow their focus to drop as they prepare for the Coppa Italia final against AC Milan on May 21.

"It was an extraordinary run after the Sassuolo defeat [in October]," he said. "I congratulate everyone who worked for this success. It's hard to imagine another team having the recovery we did.

"There is enthusiasm and euphoria, but we still have another three rounds to go and the Coppa Italia final. We've got to stay on our toes, as otherwise it might be difficult to get focus back again."

Juve host relegation-threatened Carpi on Sunday.