MILAN: Juventus left-back Patrice Evra said he could leave the Serie A giants at the end of the season after hailing “incredible” Massimiliano Allegri one of the best coaches he has played under.
With three games remaining in Serie A, there’s still plenty to play for with Napoli and Roma notably contending second place and the last automatic Champions League qualifying spot.
But all eyes on Sunday (Monday in Manila) will be on Juventus celebrating winning a record-equaling fifth consecutive title after their match against relegation-threatened Carpi in Turin.
Juventus secured a fifth consecutive ‘scudetto’ on Monday, equaling the record set by the club in the 1930s, when Radja Nainggolan’s late goal allowed Roma to beat second-placed Napoli 1-0.
The Turin club now host Carpi looking to stretch their unbeaten run to 26 games.
Ahead of perhaps Evra’s penultimate outing at Juventus Stadium, the France international said of Allegri: “For me he’s been incredible, I’ve never seen that before.”
Allegri is now on track to secure a second consecutive league and Cup double — they meet AC Milan in the May 28 final of the Coppa Italia — a year after they lost out to Barcelona in the Champions League final.
But as for 34-year-old Evra’s future, the France international told Gazzetta dello Sport on Thursday: “I haven’t made a decision yet. At Juventus, I’ve had two special years and at the end of the season we’ll meet and I’ll say yes or no.
“I have to be honest with myself and with Juventus. There are no problems, I just have to make my decision.”
With a 12-point lead over Napoli, Juventus have again triumphed with room to spare, leaving former champions like AC Milan and Inter well in their wake.
After last week’s defeat in Rome, when Nainggolan’s 89th-minute strike handed the title to Juventus, a wounded Napoli are now looking over their shoulder.
Totti to stay?
Roma remain third but are now just two points behind Napoli before travelling to Genoa on Monday, when club icon Francesco Totti could be absent.
However, speculation is mounting Roma could perform an about-turn and hand the 39-year-old a new contract for a 24th, and final, year at the club.
The ageing playmaker’s hopes were boosted when he came off the bench twice in succession to score three, decisive late goals recently.
In midweek, the affectionately-known ‘Re di Roma’ (King of Rome) got some influential backing in none other than Italian Olympic Commitee (CONI) chief Giovanni Malago.
“Totti is an amazing story, a fairytale that is almost too good to be true. Francesco is a modern day hero,” gushed Malago.
“I’ve always had a soft spot for him. If it’s in the club’s professional interests, I think it makes sense (to give him a contract).”
Napoli came so close to a first title in 26 years, only to suffer from 30-goal striker Gonzalo Higuain’s absence due to a three-match ban handed down after a dramatic meltdown in a 3-1 defeat to Udinese three weeks ago.
Napoli have conceded defeat three times in their last five games but after being thwarted by the heroics of Roma ‘keeper Wojciech Szczesny on Monday, Higuain will look to make amends against Atalanta at his favoured hunting ground of the San Paolo.
Inter, in fourth, lost virtually all hope of ending a five-year wait to rejoin the Champions League after a 1-0 defeat to Genoa a fortnight ago.
Roberto Mancini’s men are seven points behind Roma and now focusing on reinforcing their grip on fourth, and a Europa League spot.
Fiorentina, in fifth, are away to Chievo looking to maintain their six-point lead on AC Milan. A win would all but see La Viola hold on to the last Europa League spot.
Amid reports of a crisis at Milan, reportedly on the verge of a takeover from a Chinese consortium, the struggling giants host relegation-haunted Frosinone in a match that could decide their Europa League chances.