Massimiliano Allegri lauded the mentality of Cristiano Ronaldo, while the former Juventus head coach believes Inter can win the Scudetto.

Ronaldo should be in the twilight of his career, but the 34-year-old has shown no signs of slowing down after joining Juve from LaLiga giants Real Madrid in 2018-19.

Allegri was in charge when Juve prised Ronaldo to Turin in a stunning €112million deal last season – the five-time Ballon d'Or winner scoring 21 Serie A goals and 28 in all competitions as the Italian champions claimed their eighth consecutive Scudetto.

Asked about Ronaldo – who netted four goals in Portugal's 5-1 rout of Lithuania to become the highest scoring player in European Championship qualifying history – Allegri hailed the veteran superstar.

"His strength is on a mental level," said Allegri. "He is 34 years old, he has won Championships, European titles and Golden Balls but he continues to give himself important stimuli that make the difference.

"The technique is fundamental to stay at high levels for many years, but the difference is made by the head and the professionalism. If I prefer to coach Ronaldo or a young talent? Ronaldo, without a doubt."

Allegri worked with Ronaldo last season before the Italian coach and Juve parted ways following his fifth successive league title.

Juve reportedly turned to Maurizio Sarri in pursuit of European glory after their Champions League quarter-final exit – the Old Lady managing two runners-up medals under Allegri in 2015 and 2017.

Reflecting on his exit, Allegri said: "I have absolutely not regretted the choice made with Juventus, things must not be forced. After five years it was time to take a break, perhaps the president had understood it before me."

There is a touch of Juve at Inter this season, with former Bianconeri coach Antonio Conte joining chief executive Giuseppe Marotta in Milan.

Allegri won four straight Serie A title under Marotta's leadership before the 62-year-old moved to Inter in 2018 and the Nerazzurri are now one of the favourites to dethrone Juve.

"At Juve I won both with him [Marotta] and without him," Allegri added. "At Inter he built a strong team and with Conte he made a choice of weight on the bench. They can win the scudetto."

Romelu Lukaku says he was "scapegoated" during his time at Manchester United.

The Belgium striker left Old Trafford to join Inter ahead of the 2019-20 Serie A season and has scored two goals in two games under Antonio Conte, who previously tried to sign him for both Juventus and Chelsea.

And the 26-year-old feels he was mistreated after falling out of favour last term under United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

"Scapegoated," Lukaku told ESPN. "Meaning 'You. Are. The. Reason.'"

Lukaku was criticised for a perceived weight problem, with former United captain Gary Neville describing the issue as "unforgivable" for a professional footballer.

"Normally I have a fine digestive system," Lukaku explained.

"I digest everything very quickly. That's how it had been my entire life. But what the nutritionist said to me was it had stopped working.

"I'm good now. My body is in the zone."

Lukaku feels the time was right to leave United and revealed he has settled in quickly at Inter.

"This could be the team I need," he said. "There's the love I have for this area. The love that I have for Inter.

"And it was the perfect moment for me to leave England. I didn't want to be there anymore."

Antonio Conte demanded more respect and improvement in Italy after Romelu Lukaku was subjected to racial abuse in Inter's 2-1 win away to Cagliari.

Lukaku scored a penalty to preserve Inter's perfect start to the Serie A season but Sunday's victory was overshadowed by monkey chants aimed at the Belgian striker.

Racial chants could be heard as Lukaku stepped up to convert the 72nd-minute penalty, which secured all three points for Inter after Joao Pedro had cancelled out Lautaro Martinez's first-half opener.

It was another dark day for Italian football and Cagliari at the Sardegna Arena, where former Juventus striker Moise Kean endured similar chants last season.

After widespread condemnation and calls for Italian authorities to crack down, Inter head coach Conte told reporters: "We need to improve a great deal in Italy and be more respectful to people who are working, in general.

"When I was working abroad, the fans would cheer on their own team, not spend their entire time insulting the opponent."

Inter made it two wins from two games under Conte but the Nerazzurri were far from perfect on the road against Cagliari.

After routing Lecce in their Serie A opener, Inter were fortunate to claim victory following a contentious penalty call against Fabio Pisacane.

"It was a different game to the win against Lecce, as I had warned everyone this would be tough. Coming to Cagliari is never a walk in the park," Conte said.

"Let it be known, I am very demanding and there is a lot we need to do in order to improve, but I also say we are glad to have won in a difficult arena.

"Cagliari played their game and did it well, but this is a very important result, as it carries on from the performance against Lecce, but we should've 'killed' it more after conceding their equaliser. We did well to get back on top, but there's more we can do.

"This team was built to play with midfielders pushing forward into the channels, like Matias Vecino, Stefano Sensi, Roberto Gagliardini and Nicolo Barella."

While Diego Godin came off the bench to make his debut, Alexis Sanchez was an unused substitute following his loan move from Manchester United.

"Alexis Sanchez is an excellent player and he is in decent shape, but will go on international duty now and play only the first game with Chile against Argentina, put some minutes in his legs," Conte added. "We must get him back to the level he was at Udinese and Barcelona."

Romelu Lukaku was subjected to racist abuse from Cagliari supporters but scored his second goal in two Serie A games for Inter as Antonio Conte's men extended their winning start to the season with a 2-1 victory.

The €65million signing from Manchester United endured similar chants to those aimed at former Juventus striker Moise Kean last season while taking a penalty he converted to clinch three points for the visitors at the Sardegna Arena.

After a comfortable 4-0 win over Lecce in their opening game the Nerazzurri came up against a stubborn Cagliari side bolstered by Inter loanee Radja Nainggolan, who gave his parent club no rest in midfield.

Lautaro Martinez partnered Lukaku in the Inter attack and he helped to distract from the ongoing uncertainty over Mauro Icardi's future when he opened his account for 2019-20 in the 27th minute.

But the craft and endeavour Inter showed against Lecce was stemmed by Cagliari, who drew level through Joao Pedro five minutes into the second half.

The hosts looked set to earn a battling point until Fabio Pisacane conceded a penalty and Lukaku further endeared himself to the Inter faithful by burying it.

Nainggolan, playing a deep-lying role, provided the hosts with the guile they needed to break up Inter's crisp approach play and endured some heavy challenges during the early exchanges.

But the pressure paid off when Martinez beat Alberto Cerri and the offside trap as he rose to meet Stefano Sensi's weighted cross, which he headed low into the corner.

Cagliari came out of the blocks quickly after half-time and Nahitan Nandez turned his marker before bursting down the right flank and crossing for Joao Pedro to head home from close range.

Sensi hit the crossbar with a curling free-kick from 20 yards as Inter pressed for a winner that arrived after he was brought down by Pisacane.

Lukaku held his nerve despite "monkey chants" emanating from the home supporters, coolly drilling the penalty kick into the bottom right corner of Robin Olsen's net before defiantly turning to face in the direction of those who abused him.

What does it mean? Serie A must act
The importance of the result was dwarfed by the latest racism flashpoint in Italian football and, after Serie A failed to punish Cagliari over the abuse directed at Kean, they surely cannot continue to ignore such a glaring blight on the division.

Lukaku and Martinez ensure Icardi is not missed
Inter CEO Giuseppe Marotta said the ongoing uncertainty over Icardi's future was "not a problem" in the build-up to the game and goals from both of his side's strikers supported his point.

Crucial error from clumsy Pisacane
Pisacane showed his limitations when going to ground and whipping Sensi's leg from under him as the Inter midfielder pressed for a winner.

What's next?
While Cagliari will be confident of getting something from their trip to Parma when Serie A resumes after the international break, Inter entertain Udinese at San Siro.

Romelu Lukaku was subjected to racist abuse from Cagliari supporters but scored his second goal in two Serie A games for Inter as Antonio Conte's men extended their winning start to the season with a 2-1 victory.

The €65million signing from Manchester United endured similar chants to those aimed at former Juventus striker Moise Kean last season while taking a penalty he converted to clinch three points for the visitors at the Sardegna Arena.

After a comfortable 4-0 win over Lecce in their opening game the Nerazzurri came up against a stubborn Cagliari side bolstered by Inter loanee Radja Nainggolan, who gave his parent club no rest in midfield.

Lautaro Martinez partnered Lukaku in the Inter attack and he helped to distract from the ongoing uncertainty over Mauro Icardi's future when he opened his account for 2019-20 in the 27th minute.

But the craft and endeavour Inter showed against Lecce was stemmed by Cagliari, who drew level through Joao Pedro five minutes into the second half.

The hosts looked set to earn a battling point until Fabio Pisacane conceded a penalty and Lukaku further endeared himself to the Inter faithful by burying it.

Alexis Sanchez trained with Inter for the first time on Friday, following the completion of his loan move from Manchester United.

Sanchez secured a return to Serie A on Thursday, having failed to live up to expectations after his arrival at Old Trafford in January 2018.

The 30-year-old has joined former United striker Romelu Lukaku at Inter and the duo were reunited as Antonio Conte's side prepared for their Serie A clash with Cagliari on Sunday.

It is unclear if Sanchez will be fit to feature, having not turned out for United throughout pre-season after sustaining an injury while on international duty with Chile at the Copa America.

Inter star Romelu Lukaku is yet to show his full potential as Antonio Conte warned the former Manchester United striker has room for improvement.

Lukaku enjoyed a goalscoring debut for Inter, who opened their Serie A season with a 4-0 rout of newly promoted 10-man Lecce on Monday.

A club-record signing from Premier League giants United following a drawn-out transfer saga, Lukaku capped his Inter bow by scoring the team's third goal on the hour mark.

Lukaku produced an impressive display at San Siro, where Conte's era in charge started with a win, and the new head coach praised the 26-year-old.

"Let's not forget he is only 26, he's got a potential we can work on a lot; I believe that despite the fact he arrived late, we tried to work and he made himself available with great effort," Conte told reporters.

"Today already Romelu showed what kind of a player he is. And why the club insisted on getting this kind of player. But I am very happy, I knew him as a player, but from a human perspective, I didn't know him. It was a pleasing discovery.

"He really integrated into the team with humility, he made himself available to the team-mates, and everybody loves him.

"He's just 26, has margins for improvement, he's got to work. He must take advantage even more of the skills he has, because in my opinion he's got skills that he hasn't shown yet, he hasn't shown everything yet, in his football career."

Conte added via Sky Sport Italia: "Let's not forget Lukaku cost €65million to be paid over five years, so when people talk about big money spent, it wasn't even that much.

"Tonight, Lukaku showed why we tried so hard to sign him."

Marcelo Brozovic and Antonio Candreva scored stunning goals, while fellow recruit Stefano Sensi was also on target against Lecce in Milan.

Antonio Conte described Romelu Lukaku as a "gentle giant" after Inter's record signing got off the mark on his Serie A debut in a 4-0 thumping of 10-man Lecce.

Lukaku and Stefano Sensi scored on their Inter bows on Monday, while Marcelo Brozovic and Antonio Candreva hit brilliant finishes to open and wrap up the scoring respectively.

The Belgium striker impressed with his high energy levels and sharp build-up play, although he prevented Matteo Politano from adding his name to the scoresheet by being caught offside.

Conte previously wanted to bring Lukaku to Chelsea during his time in charge at Stamford Bridge and he is enjoying finally getting to work with the former Manchester United man.

"Lukaku stepped into the Inter world in the best possible way, with great humility," Conte told DAZN.

"He is a gentle giant, he always has a smile on his face. He is ready to work for the team and is at the disposal of his team-mates.

"I also want to highlight that Lautaro Martinez also played very well and everyone deserves praise.

"It was only the first game, so we can celebrate until midnight, but from tomorrow we have to start thinking about the next match with Cagliari."

Conte became only the third Inter coach to win his first Serie A game in charge by four goals, following club legends Giuseppe Meazza and Helenio Herrera into the history books as promoted Lecce - who had Diego Farias sent off at 3-0 - were put to the sword.

But perfectionist Conte still feels his side have plenty of room for improvement despite an impressive win sending them top of the table at the end of the opening round of games.

"We started with the right intensity and respected the idea of football that I wanted," the former Juventus and Italy coach said. 

"However, I did not appreciate at all the minutes after we went 2-0 up and I told the lads that. I wanted us to immediately get back on it and not be distracted, or think it was over.

"It was a good performance and you can see the ideas there. It's an excellent result, because Lecce are a good team and there is always the risk of stumbling in these fixtures. We didn't want that for us or our fans.

"We have some more steps to take, such as improving the mental consistency and focus, but I am very satisfied and it is a pleasure to work with these lads.

"This version of 3-5-2 is certainly a more attacking evolution of the old 4-2-4. I think that I have the men suited to this type of system and midfielders ready to push forward.

"We must not be a spark, we have to become dynamite."

Romelu Lukaku scored on his Inter debut as Antonio Conte's reign began with an impressive 4-0 victory over Lecce at San Siro.

Club-record signing Lukaku started up front on Monday with former captain Mauro Icardi left out of Conte's squad amid continued uncertainty over his future at the club.

Marcelo Brozovic and Stefano Sensi struck excellent goals in the space of four first-half minutes then Lukaku snaffled a rebound for his maiden Inter goal.

Promoted Lecce's day went from bad to worse when substitute Diego Farias rightly saw red for a terrible tackle on another new Inter arrival Nicolo Barella, before Antonio Candreva's 84th-minute stunner from range.

Inter, who had to replace Stefan de Vrij with Andrea Ranocchia after the Dutchman's injury in the warm-up, took time to find their feet but scored the first goal of the Conte era in the 21st minute.

Brozovic bent home a beauty from just outside the area and it was soon 2-0 thanks to another excellent strike, as Sensi scored on his first appearance.

The midfielder, who joined Inter on loan from Sassuolo in July, advanced into space and arrowed a 20-yard drive into the bottom-left corner.

Marco Calderoni thumped a shot just wide as Lecce briefly threatened early in the second half but a long-range Lautaro Martinez shot was spilled by debutant goalkeeper Gabriel and former Manchester United striker Lukaku reacted quickest to slot home the loose ball on the hour mark.

Inter were cruising thereafter and Conte replaced Matias Vecino with Barella, who was the victim of an awful lunge that saw Farias dismissed in the 76th minute.

Substitute Matteo Politano had a fine goal ruled out for Lukaku being offside, but Candreva added late gloss to the scoreline with a 30-yard thunderbolt that ripped into the top-left corner.


What does it mean? Good signs for Conte

Inter are being widely backed as the most likely contenders to usurp Juventus thanks to the arrival of Conte - a three-time Scudetto-winning coach with the Bianconeri.

He used his typical system of three at the back and although Inter initially showed signs of nerves they went on to dominate Fabio Liverani's side, who almost certainly face a relegation battle after successive promotions.

Lukaku finds early form

Having lost his place at Old Trafford last term, there were suggestions an old-school style operator like Lukaku could find himself left behind as elite European teams seek more mobile strikers to lead the line.

But Conte has always preferred a strong "reference" point for his attack and Lukaku fits that billing, with the Belgium international impressing when he dropped deep to link the play and showing a poacher's instinct to open his Nerazzurri account.

Gabriel's dream debut falls flat

There was nothing Gabriel could do about Inter's first two goals, but any slim hopes of a Lecce fightback died when he pushed Martinez's effort back into the danger zone. The former AC Milan keeper will not have happy memories of his return to San Siro.

What's next?

Inter return to action on Sunday with a trip to Cagliari, who signed Radja Nainggolan on loan during the close season, while Lecce will hope for a fairer test of their top-flight mettle when they host Verona on the same day.

Inter's chief executive Giuseppe Marotta says the club are annoyed by comments from Mauro Icardi's wife and agent Wanda Nara.

Icardi has been told he is free to leave Inter, having been stripped of the captaincy during last season, and he was left out of their squad to face Lecce on Monday.

Nara has regularly made headlines for her outspoken views and she has indicated Icardi still feels his future lies at San Siro.

"It's true – he has said no to every destination that is not Inter," she said on Mediaset show Tiki Taka.

"Everyone has known his choice since the start of the summer and that is the case for any team that has shown interest. In my view, at the end of the day, he will remain at Inter."

Ahead of Inter's Serie A opener against newly promoted Lecce, Marotta hit back at Nara.

"For us it is a bit of annoyance, both for the timing and for the way [she spoke]," he told DAZN.

"I absolutely deny that any Inter manager, and in particular [chairman] Steven Zhang, has invited Icardi to stay.

"We have dictated a precise strategy and communicated it at the right time. We will go on until the end and nobody from Inter can distort this common line."

Juventus, Monaco and Napoli have all been linked with the Argentina striker, who hit 17 goals in 37 appearances in all competitions last term.

Romelu Lukaku was handed his first Inter start in Antonio Conte's Serie A bow for the club against Lecce.

Inter get their league campaign under way on Monday with former captain Mauro Icardi left out of the squad amid uncertainty over his future.

Icardi's wife and agent Wanda Nara has indicated the striker wants to stay at the club despite being told he is free to leave.

Conte picked Stefano Sensi in midfield after the Italy international joined the Nerazzurri on loan from Sassuolo.

Fellow new signing Nicolo Barella was on the bench and Argentina attacker Lautaro Martinez was selected to partner Lukaku in attack.

Defender Diego Godin, who joined Inter on a free transfer after leaving Atletico Madrid, missed out due to injury.

Mauro Icardi does not believe his Inter career is over and has rejected offers from other clubs that nobody else would have turned down, according to Wanda Nara, his wife and agent.

The Argentina striker has long been expected to leave San Siro after being frozen out of the first-team picture.

Juventus, Monaco and Napoli have all been credited with interest but, ahead of Inter's opening Serie A match of the season against Lecce on Monday, Icardi is still their player.

Indeed, the former club captain has been given the number seven shirt - his previous number nine jersey having been handed to new signing Romelu Lukaku - in a sign that he could yet stay at the club.

Nara insists Icardi does not want to play for any other club and is confident he can win over head coach Antonio Conte.

"We have many friends in Naples. It's true - he has said no to every destination that is not Inter," she said on Mediaset show Tiki Taka.

"Everyone has known his choice since the start of the summer and that is the case for any team that has shown interest. In my view, at the end of the day, he will remain at Inter.

"He doesn't believe it's over at Inter. I don't know what's going to happen, but I do know his words when the transfer market opened. He has stayed consistent.

"There were offers that no player in the world would have turned down, but he said no for Inter."

Conte has denied Icardi is causing a "disturbance" within the squad, but he is not expected to use the striker on Monday.

The Nerazzurri are also still said to be keen on signing Alexis Sanchez on loan from Manchester United, a deal that would further complicate Icardi's position within the squad.

Icardi has not played for the club since the 2-1 defeat of Empoli on the final day of the 2018-19 season.

He scored 17 goals in 37 appearances in all competitions last term.

Mauro Icardi is not causing any issues for Inter coach Antonio Conte, who insists the unsettled striker's failure to secure a move away from San Siro has not hindered preparations for the new season.

Inter handed Icardi the number seven shirt for the 2019-20 campaign in a move that indicated he is expected to remain at the club, where he was stripped of the captaincy last term.

The 26-year-old was widely expected to leave in the close season and was linked with Juventus and Monaco.

However, with Icardi still at Inter and the arrival of Romelu Lukaku from Manchester United, it appears Conte will be left with a player deemed surplus to requirements.

Asked about the effect of Icardi's continued presence by the media, Conte said: "I have great respect for everyone, but I don't feel any disturbance.

"We are working hard, we know full well what approach has been taken with the player, but it is not causing any disturbance for me."

Inter open against Lecce at San Siro on Monday, with Conte making clear that the aim for his side is to close the gap on last season's top two, Juventus and Napoli.

The Nerazzurri finished fourth, 10 points behind second-placed Napoli, but Conte believes Lukaku's arrival can boost their chances of improving this term.

"Lukaku arrived full of enthusiasm," said Conte. "He is a very joyful guy to be around and the team immediately welcomed him into their hearts.

"He was on the margins of the Manchester United squad for a while, so is not at 100 per cent, but has immense potential and can improve in every area.

"I tried him out alongside Lautaro Martinez, Matteo Politano and Sebastiano Esposito, so I am pleased with the synergy that is forming between these players.

"I always said that I wanted to feel even a one per cent chance of competing for victory. We are building something important here and I can say that the chase is on.

"We aim to close the gap, which is pretty large, from the top two. I don't set limits, only time will tell what we are fighting for, but we've got to work even better than the rest if we want to achieve something extraordinary."

Maurizio Sarri's start to life as Juventus boss was hardly going swimmingly before he was left tackling a bout of pneumonia this week.

After a frankly disorientating year at Chelsea, which amounted to speculation over his future and criticism of his fabled playing style being stitched together by the momentary distraction of bi-weekly football matches, Sarri won the Europa League, finished third in the Premier League and landed the Juve job. It felt like the football equivalent of getting out of jail and building a house on Park Lane in the same Monopoly move.

Board room and dressing room at Stamford Bridge never felt in harmony, but it no longer mattered. The former Napoli boss would now helm the slick and formidable football empire he came closer than many to toppling.

Or so he might have thought. Cutting into a reporter's question after Juve lost 2-1 to Atletico Madrid in the International Champions Cup, Sarri launched something approaching a tirade on Paulo Dybala's mooted exit and the need to trim Juve's Champions League squad. He called their transfer policy "embarrassing".

Some moves this close season – namely the capture of quality free agents in the form of Aaron Ramsey and Adrien Rabiot – are identifiable from the old Juventus playbook. But part-exchange deals that lessen the quality of the squad and generally appearing reactive rather than proactive should be a cause for concern.

Out with the new, in with the old

Moise Kean is one of the most exciting striking talents in Europe but was allowed to move to Everton. Centre-forward cover now comes from Gonzalo Higuain and Mario Mandzukic – one back after two shocking loan spells and another 14 years older than Kean and apparently being hawked around Europe himself.

A chunk of cash accompanied Danilo from Manchester City for a reason, as the inconsistent but lavishly gifted (and, once again, younger) Joao Cancelo moved in the other direction. A swap deal featuring Dybala and Romelu Lukaku, now shipped from Manchester United to Inter, would have been far stranger.

Indeed, Dybala only remains a Juve player for now due to the tangled web of his image rights arrangements. Leonardo Spinazzola joining Roma to bring Luca Pellegrini the other way, only to loan the latter back to Cagliari, also suggested muddled thinking.

The steady improvement throughout Massimiliano Allegri's tenure brought two Champions League final defeats. In between losing to Barcelona and Real Madrid in 2015 and 2017, Paul Pogba, Andrea Pirlo, Arturo Vidal and Alvaro Morata were among the players to leave, yet Juventus improved on account of shrewd coaching and a transfer policy that was a step ahead.

Then, last year, the Turin giants bet the farm on Cristiano Ronaldo. The Champions League did not follow and Allegri left.

Matthijs de Ligt is one of the most eye-catching signings of the window but Juve hardly needed centre-backs and now appear to be scrabbling to recoup the cash. Like Sarri, there are understandable doubts over whether sporting director Fabio Paratici is cut out for a leading role at the Allianz Stadium.

Paratici's influence increased after Beppe Marotta's departure last year. Marotta is now leading operations at Inter for the man who launched this Juventus dynasty.

Conte's Inter ready for lift-off

"I never set limits – I don't want to create excuses," Antonio Conte said at his first news conference as Inter boss, his new club having come fourth - 21 points shy of Juve - last time around

The former Italy coach is something of a specialist in these situations. The year before he began Juventus' title streak in 2011-12, they finished seventh. At Chelsea, he took them from 10th to Premier League glory in a season.

Some of Conte's subsequent discontent in west London related to a failure to sign Lukaku. Now he has his man – the "point of reference" centre-forward crucial to all his best sides.

Manchester United fans will undoubtedly guffaw at the prospect of Alexis Sanchez joining a fellow Old Trafford flop at San Siro, but harnessing two players with a point to prove to Jose Mourinho in a bid to topple Sarri – the man who took his previous job – feels deliciously up Conte's street.

Valentino Lazaro, Matteo Politano, Nicolo Barella and Stefano Sensi look like shrewd buys alongside the formidable Diego Godin and Inter can be expected to hit the ground running when they host Lecce on Monday.

Napoli have finished as runners-up in the past two seasons and Hirving Lozano would be an exciting acquisition in attack, while there is unlikely to be a centre-back pairing anywhere as formidable as Kalidou Koulibaly and Kostas Manolas.

Carlo Ancelotti's men should certainly not be discounted, but the winds of change ahead of an intriguing Serie A season appear to be blowing in Inter and Conte's direction.

The wait for the new Serie A season is almost over and, remarkably, five of last season's top six will be entering the 2019-20 campaign with new faces at the helm.

Champions Juventus surprisingly parted company with Massimiliano Allegri and replaced him with Maurizio Sarri despite winning the title yet again, although runners-up Napoli have stuck with Carlo Ancelotti.

Inter and AC Milan both appointed new head coaches, with Antonio Conte and Marco Giampaolo taking charge respectively, while Paulo Fonseca is the new man in the Roma dugout.

We look at how the four new men have fared previously in Serie A to see how things might pan out with their new clubs.

 

Maurizio Sarri (Juventus)

Perhaps the most daunting task awaits Sarri next season, as he attempts to follow in the footsteps of Allegri, who won five consecutive Scudetti.

Indeed, the last campaign in which the Bianconeri did not win the title was 2010-11, and if Sarri cannot sustain their dominance his spell in Turin could be short-lived.

Sarri joins with an outstanding Serie A record behind him, however. He enjoyed a superb three-year spell with Napoli before his departure at the end of the 2017-18 season, winning 69 per cent of his 114 league games in charge.

Juve fans will be excited to see if he can successfully instil his free-flowing football at the Allianz Stadium – Napoli's 251 goals during his tenure was 13 more than any other side.

He does, though, start the season in poor health after being diagnosed with pneumonia.

Antonio Conte (Inter)

Luciano Spalletti secured a second successive top-four finish last season, meaning Conte will juggle Campions League commitments alongside his bid to dethrone Juve as the dominant side in Serie A.

That is unlikely to phase a man who has won each of the three Serie A campaigns he has started when in charge of the Bianconeri.

Conte – who will have Romelu Lukaku leading the line following his arrival from Manchester United – ended his first league campaign with Juve unbeaten and did not taste defeat until his 49th league match.

What Inter fans would give to see a repeat performance this season.

Marco Giampaolo (AC Milan)

Giampaolo, 52, joined Milan after leaving fellow Serie A side Sampdoria, who he guided to ninth in the last of his three seasons in charge.

Having spent time in charge of Cagliari, Brescia and Empoli among others, Giampaolo is expected to bring stability to San Siro after churning through six full-time head coaches since Allegri's departure in 2014.

Giampaolo's task will be, on the face of it, a simple one – gain qualification for the Champions League. Gennaro Gattuso's failure to do just that ultimately cost the Milan icon his job at San Siro.

It is something that the new man has yet to achieve in his managerial career, but his attacking brand of football will certainly please the club's supporters.

Only four clubs in Serie A last season scored more goals than Sampdoria, while they boasted the best shot conversion rate in the division, scoring with 12.3 per cent of their efforts.

Paulo Fonseca (Roma)

Roma narrowly missed out on a place in next season's Champions League, leaving new coach Fonseca in charge of a club in need of a morale-boosting return to Serie A's top four.

The Giallorossi will still be expected to progress in the Europa League and Fonseca arrives in Rome with a strong track record in continental competition, having guided Shakhtar Donetsk to the last 16 of the Champions League in 2017-18.

He enjoyed a superb three years in Ukraine, winning three league titles, three domestic cups and the Ukrainian Super Cup.

He left Shakhtar with a 78 per cent win ratio in the league and guided them to a whopping 23 clean sheets from their 32 games.

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