Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri has denied rumours that his players had a fight in the locker room after defeat to Sampdoria, but also claimed that he wouldn't have minded if they had.
Rumours that the Bianconeri dressing room got very heated in the aftermath of their 3-2 defeat to Sampdoria spread over the past few days. Speculation circulated via Italian website Dagospia suggested that several foreign stars had a row with some of the veterans of the team, to the extent that, even when things calmed down, some players asked to be sent away in January.
The club immediately denied such rumours, describing them as 'absolutely unfounded', while Allegri elaborated on the claims during his press conference ahead of the club's Friday clash with rivals Napoli.
The Bianconeri are to visit Napoli on Friday night for their highly rated Serie A match and the news of internal problems would not be good publicity for the club.
Asked to comment on the matter, the Italian manager replied (via Repubblica): "I actually hoped that the rumour was true and that they had a fight."
He added, laughing: "Sometimes a little chaos inside the locker rooms is useful, it helps raise the necessary tension to fight big battles. Unfortunately, however, nothing happened."
This is not the first time that the team is thought to have been hit by internal fights during key matches.
Days after the Champions League final, which Juventus lost to Real Madrid, Italian newspaper Repubblica suggested that now Milan captain Leonardo Bonucci had an argument with first Andrea Barzagli and then Dani Alves and Paulo Dybala.
The fight, which is thought to have happened during the half-time break, negatively affected the frustrated men, who reportedly lost their focus and, subsequently, the final.
Allegri's man management has taken a hit. Used to be one of his strongest aspects but lots of conflicts in Juve dressing room of late.— #4. (@ThatMunichNight) November 29, 2017
A similar situation may prove to be costly for the Turin side, whose already troubled title race could be inevitably compromised.