Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri has dismissed agent Mino Raiola’s suggestion that Matthijs de Ligt was ready to move on, saying the defender’s next step is “to score goals”.
Raiola claimed on Sunday that the centre-back was ready for a new step and suggested that the player shares the same view.
However, the 22-year-old has been performing well this term despite Juventus’ struggles, with the Bianconeri seventh in Serie A, 12 points behind league leaders Inter.
Allegri was dismissive when asked about the agent’s comments ahead of Juventus’ clash with Cagliari on Tuesday, focusing instead on how the defender can improve and help the team.
“The step is to score goals tomorrow!” Allegri said in his pre-match press conference on Monday.
“I didn’t hear the interview. I can only say that in [the 2-0 win over] Bologna he made two interventions as a great defender. He can still grow like all players.”
Allegri: ” @mdeligt_04 has enormous qualities, he’s 22 years old and like many of our players has great room for improvement, this must be our goal. Kulusevski did well in Bologna and I would like to avoid taking a risk tomorrow with @PauDybala_JR .” #JuveCagliari
— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) December 20, 2021
De Ligt has been a regular fixture in Juve’s defence this term, starting 13 times in 18 Serie A games and is becoming a dominant force in the air, competing for the most aerial duels per 90 minutes in the side (4.71) and winning 2.99 of them – also a club high.
Allegri is also still waiting for star forward Paolo Dybala to officially pen new terms, with the 28-year-old out of contract at the end of this season, and confirmed that the club plan to be active in the transfer window ahead of next season.
“I only know that there was a meeting the other day,” Allegri continued. “I did not speak, I do not know the developments. It’s an important contract.
“We have to work [in the transfer market], we have five months to do it. We have to be concentrated and be calm.”