Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba has been the target of an extortion attempt by an organised gang, according to his lawyers.

Pogba's brother Mathias posted videos online promising to publish "great revelations" about the France international, his agent and Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe.

Mathias added that "the whole world, as well as my brother's fans, and even more so the French team and Juventus, deserve to know certain things".

Pogba's representatives responded in a widely released statement later on Sunday.

"The recent declarations of Mathias Pogba on social media are unfortunately not a surprise," read the statement.

"They are coming after threats and attempts of extortion by an organised gang against Paul Pogba.

"The competent bodies in Italy and France were informed a month ago and there will be no further comments in relation to the ongoing investigation."

ESPN has reported that the matter is still being investigated by French police, with the threats received by Pogba said to be very serious.

Mathias is a free agent after a spell with French fourth-tier side Belfort came to an end in April. That was the 13th club he has represented across a well-travelled career.

Roma have completed the signing of free agent Andrea Belotti on a one-year deal.

The Italy international is the Giallorossi's sixth arrival of the transfer window after Nemanja Matic, Mile Svilar, Zeki Celik, Paulo Dybala and Georginio Wijnaldum.

Striker Belotti could sign a two-year contract extension with the Eternal City giants, dependent on performance-related criteria.

Belotti, who departed Torino when his contract expired in June, arrives off the back of a successful seven-year stint with Il Toro, for whom he scored 113 goals in 251 appearances across all competitions.

The 28-year-old will bolster Jose Mourinho's attacking options, providing competition for the likes of Dybala, Tammy Abraham and Eldor Shomurodov.

And the Euro 2020 winner is excited to get down to work in the Italian capital.

"The ambitions and growth of Roma are there for all to see, and have exerted an incredible fascination in me," he told the club's official website.

"At this point in my career, I want to continue to improve, day after day, and I am happy to be able to do it with this new shirt.

"Now, I can't wait to hear the anthem at the stadium, in front of our fans."

Belotti could make his Roma debut when the Giallorossi welcome Monza to Stadio Olimpico in Serie A on Tuesday.

Liverpool's hunt for midfield reinforcements is heating up, with the club reportedly investigating the possibility of bringing in Borussia Dortmund's England star Jude Bellingham in the January window.

As well as a Bellingham deal – which would likely have to exceed £100million – the Reds are also weighing up potential moves for Wolves' Ruben Neves and RB Leipzig's Konrad Laimer.

Football Insider is reporting Liverpool and Dortmund have reached a "verbal agreement" on a price for Bellingham, although the Bundesliga club has been consistent with their stance that they want to hold onto him for this season.

Laimer, on the other hand, only has one more year on his contract, and has told Leipzig he will not sign an extension, making him the most likely of the three to be on the move.

 

TOP STORY – LIVERPOOL LOOK AT LAIMER AND NEVES

Laimer, 25, is coming off a season with four goals and four assists in 26 Bundesliga games, and has shown he can produce against quality opposition, with a goal and two assists from his home and away fixtures against Bayern Munich.

The 90min report believes Laimer may be angling for a move to the Bundesliga champions after proving himself against them, but Liverpool could try and take him to Anfield.

Meanwhile, Wolves have been able to fend off interest for Neves from fellow Premier League clubs such as Manchester United and Arsenal, but with two years left on his deal, now would be the time to cash in if his long-term future is not at Molineux.

 

ROUND UP

– The Mirror are reporting if Antony leaves Ajax , the Eredivisie champions will try to land Aston Villa's Anwar El Ghazi as a replacement.

– According to Sky Sports, Newcastle United goalkeeper Martin Dubravka has told the club he wants to be sold to Manchester   United .

– The Sun claims Chelsea are considering terminating Ross Barkley's contract, which pays him £200,000 per week.

Barcelona are working on moves for Bernardo Silva and Marcos Alonso , according to the Daily Mail. 

– talkSPORT report  West Ham are in talks with Adnan Januzaj to bring the 27-year-old back to the Premier League, as he is available on a free transfer after leaving Real Sociedad.

Napoli coach Luciano Spalletti would love to see Cristiano Ronaldo move to Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.

He doubts it will happen before the transfer deadline on Thursday, but Spalletti made it clear he believes Ronaldo could make a big impact on his team.

Ronaldo is no stranger to Serie A after spending three seasons at Juventus, and Napoli have been linked with a move for the 37-year-old in recent days.

He continues to be linked with an exit after starting just once this season under new Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag, having joined the Red Devils when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was boss 12 months ago.

Dutchman Ten Hag said on Saturday, after Ronaldo played as a substitute in the 1-0 win at Southampton: "We want him to stay."

There is time for movement, however, before the exit door closes, with Ronaldo reportedly keen to play Champions League football in the new season, which is something United cannot offer.

Talk of a swap deal involving Napoli's Victor Osimhen was brushed aside by Osimhen's agent this week, with Roberto Calenda writing on Twitter: "No negotiations in progress, no exchanges."

Now Spalletti has offered his personal view on Ronaldo, saying on Saturday: "Anyone would like to coach him, but as Osimhen's agent said there is no negotiation. [Napoli owner Aurelio] De Laurentiis also confirmed this."

With the window closing, Spalletti added: "I see it as difficult."

Ronaldo has had little to say about his future. He has been tipped for moves to the likes of Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Chelsea, Sporting CP and Atletico Madrid in recent weeks, but nothing has materialised. Last season, he was United's 24-goal leading scorer across all competitions.

Spalletti is one of the first significant figures to openly enthuse about the prospect of signing the veteran former Real Madrid forward during this twilight phase of his rightly lauded career.

He sees no problem with integrating Ronaldo, should he ever become available to Napoli.

"We are talking about someone who has won more championships, scored more goals, has the quality to be anywhere on the pitch," said Spalletti, quoted by Corriere dello Sport, ahead of his team's match at Fiorentina on Sunday.

"He is someone who resolves things on his own. The problem would not exist in one way or another."

Rafael Leao scored one goal and assisted another as Milan downed Bologna 2-0 on Saturday, with Stefano Pioli hailing his talented winger.

The Portugal international wrong-footed goalkeeper Lukasz Skorupski in the first half to open the scoring – his eighth Serie A goal at home since the start of 2022.

No Serie A player has managed more strikes on their home ground in that period, and Leao turned creator after the interval as he teed up Olivier Giroud, who acrobatically volleyed home to double Milan's lead.

Another dazzling performance from Leao, who played a large part in Milan's Scudetto triumph last season, came just days after reports in Italy claimed Chelsea want to sign the 23-year-old.

Milan are reportedly attempting to tie the forward down to a contract renewal and Pioli will be desperate to keep his star attacker, who he feels is beginning to fulfil his talent.

"A player with such potential must continue to think he can improve," Pioli told Sky Sport Italia.

"He has never made a mistake in his attitude, he has never missed a training session and wants to grow.

"He has body language that can fool people, but he's really smart. He must never stop trying to improve."

Charles De Ketelaere was another to impress against the Rossoblu, with the midfielder creating the opener for Leao after regaining possession inside his own half before powering forward to find his team-mate.

The former Club Brugge man also laid on a game-high four chances, and Pioli is delighted to see the new arrival settling in already after his reported €36million move earlier in August.

"There is no doubt that Charles is a great talent," the Milan head coach said. "It's normal that he has to grow and get to know his team-mates, but they are processes that take some time.

"He is already showing important qualities and he will only grow."

Milan remain undefeated after three Serie A games this term, extending a run that began last season to 19 unbeaten top-flight matches – the longest such streak in Europe's top five leagues.

The Rossoneri will hope to carry on their fine run of form when they head to Sassuolo on Tuesday, before a derby clash with Inter next weekend.

Rafael Leao scored one and assisted another as Milan continued their unbeaten Serie A start with a dominant 2-0 victory over Bologna.

Stefano Pioli's side had to recover from a goal down in each of their opening two league games, winning one and drawing the other, but did not need another rescue act on Saturday.

Leao was a constant threat down the left flank and grabbed a deserved goal in the first half, before setting up a smart Olivier Giroud finish in the second half to cap an impressive performance.

Victory at least temporarily moved Milan to the top of the embryonic Serie A table, while the Rossoneri are now unbeaten in 19 top-flight games – the longest ongoing undefeated streak in Europe's top five leagues.

 

Pioli's men started slowly but kicked into gear after 21 minutes as Charles de Ketelaere dispossessed Jerdy Schouten and powered forward to tee up Leao, who rolled his finish into the bottom-left corner.

De Ketelaere continued to be Milan's chief creative force, chipping a delicate pass through for Pierre Kalulu, only for the defender to waste a glorious one-on-one chance up against Lukasz Skorupski.

Junior Messias was the next to be thwarted by Skorupski, before Leao blazed over the rebound, and Giroud dragged just wide of the target prior to the break.

The Rossoneri deservedly doubled their lead after 58 minutes when Leao lofted in a cross from the left for Giroud to acrobatically volley into the bottom-right corner.

Nicola Sansone almost hit back for Bologna, but his driven effort cannoned against Mike Maignan's right-hand post as Milan preserved their first clean sheet of the campaign.

What does it mean? Milan continue Bologna dominance

Milan had only lost one of their previous 25 Serie A meetings with Bologna, with that defeat coming in January 2016 when Rossoblu coach Sinisa Mihajlovic was with the Rossoneri.

Given their recent dominance in this fixture and last season's Scudetto-winning exploits, it came as little surprise to see Milan control most of proceedings – not allowing a single Bologna shot on target.

With Inter to come next weekend, Milan have thrown down an early marker as they look to defend their title this season.

Home comforts for Leao

Leao was a pivotal factor for Pioli last season as Milan edged out fierce rivals Inter to lift the Scudetto, and the Portugal international proved his worth once more here.

The 23-year-old has scored eight times in the league at home since the start of 2022, with no Serie A player finding the net on more occasions at their own stadium in that time.

Awful Arnautovic

Marko Arnautovic was in the headlines earlier in the month after being linked to Manchester United, only for backlash from Red Devils fans to seemingly end any talk of a move.

The forward subsequently became the first player to score in both of Bologna's first two games in a Serie A season since Roberto Baggio in 1997-98, but he failed to deliver up against Milan's well-regimented defence.

What's next?

Milan will look to maintain their unbeaten run when they travel to Sassuolo on Tuesday ahead of the derby against Inter. Bologna host Salernitana on Thursday.

Jose Mourinho told his Roma players he "felt ashamed of being their coach" before they recovered from a goal down at half-time to draw 1-1 against Juventus.

Roma had won their opening two Serie A games without conceding but fell behind to a Dusan Vlahovic free-kick inside 76 seconds at the Allianz Stadium on Saturday.

Juve had a second goal through Manuel Locatelli ruled out for a Vlahovic handball in the build-up in a half the home side dominated, outshooting their opponents 10 to three.

Mourinho responded by replacing Gianluca Mancini and Leonardo Spinazzola with Stephan El Shaarawy and Nicola Zalewski at the break, and Roma improved in the second half.

The visitors found a way through from one of their three efforts on target in the second period, with Tammy Abraham turning in former Juve player Paulo Dybala's acrobatic pass.

While his side's unbeaten start to the season remains intact with a credible point in Turin, however, Mourinho accepted Roma were rather fortunate.

Asked what he said at half-time, Mourinho told DAZN: "I told the team I was ashamed of them. I felt ashamed of being their coach.

"The game changed, but let's not talk about tactics; let's instead talk about attitude. We can't get where we want with this attitude.

"I told [assistant coach Salvatore] Foti to pray that it finished only 1-0. That would have been a good result after that first-half performance.

"I told them to take advantage of the luck we had, knowing the game could have been over at that point. Every now and then, you are dominated but you have to manage it better.

"I had a bench with very few offensive solutions, especially compared to [Massimiliano] Allegri. But after analysing the second half, we deserved to win that 1-0."

 

The goal Roma conceded came from Vlahovic's first touch and was Juve's first direct free-kick goal in the league since Cristiano Ronaldo scored against Torino in July 2020.

It ended the Giallorossi's four-game run without conceding in all competitions, but the home team were unable to hold on and now have just one win from three games this term.

And Juve head coach Allegri recognised his side could have no complaints with the full-time scoreline after they failed to finish off Roma when on top in the first half.

"Jose's always smart and sharp in the way he reads games," Allegri said of his opposite number. "If you don't kill off the game, you always leave the possibility of an equaliser.

"We were tired after a strong first half and probably should have focused on passing the ball around to slow things down.

"That's something we need to learn. You cannot expect a team to dominate the match for the full 90 minutes."

Juve, who had beaten Roma in 10 of their 11 previous league games at the Allianz Stadium, went with a 4-2-3-1 formation, but Allegri hinted he is open to change once at full strength.

"First of all we need to focus on getting Federico Chiesa, Paul Pogba and Angel Di Maria back," Allegri said when asked about his set-up. 

"They all have technique and a change of pace. Having changes available from the bench makes a big difference."

Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain remain in negotiations for Leandro Paredes but his arrival may depend on players leaving first, according to Bianconeri chief executive Maurizio Arrivabene.

Massimiliano Allegri has bolstered his squad during the transfer window by signing Paul Pogba, Angel Di Maria, Bremer and Filip Kostic.

Adrien Rabiot was expected to depart Turin to join Manchester United, but the midfielder's move to Old Trafford fell through.

The France international may soon be partnered in midfield by Paredes, who has been frustrated by a lack of playing minutes for PSG.

Christophe Galtier has previously acknowledged Paredes could leave after falling down the midfield pecking order, with Arrivabene confirming Juve are looking to sign the 28-year-old.

"We are talking. But, I repeat, it is very important to make the exits," Arrivabene told DAZN when pressed for an update on Paredes ahead of Saturday's 1-1 draw with Roma.

Paulo Dybala, Matthijs de Ligt, Giorgio Chiellini, Aaron Ramsey and Merih Demiral are among those to leave the Allianz Stadium this transfer window.

However, Arrivabene expects more players to depart as he looks to balance assembling a squad with Allegri and financial constraints.

"We will be happy if we manage to carry out the exits that we intend to do in such a way that the sporting result is balanced with the financial one," he added.

Juve remain unbeaten in their opening three Serie A games this season, albeit with just one win and two draws, the most recent of which coming at home to Roma.

Tammy Abraham turned in a goal assisted by Paulo Dybala as Roma battled to a 1-1 draw at Juventus to leave both sides unbeaten after three Serie A matches.

Roma had won their first two games without conceding but were behind to a sublime Dusan Vlahovic free-kick after just 76 seconds – the forward's fastest strike in the competition.

After being held to a 0-0 draw by Sampdoria last time out, Juve looked far brighter in an attacking sense and had a second goal through Manuel Locatelli contentiously ruled out.

Jose Mourinho's side hit back in the second half when former Juve player Dybala's attempt at goal turned into an assist for Abraham, meaning the points were shared in Turin.

 

Vlahovic managed just eight touches of the ball in last week's stalemate with Sampdoria but required just one touch to fire Juve in front against Roma.

The Serbia international left Rui Patricio stranded to the spot with a 25-yard free-kick that he lifted over the wall and into the back of the net via the underside of the crossbar.

Locatelli thought he had doubled Juve's lead when firing in a first-time effort from outside the box, but VAR ruled it out due to a perceived handball from Vlahovic in the build-up.

That proved a big moment in the match as Abraham levelled up for Roma with 69 minutes played after heading in Dybala's miscued acrobatic volley from six yards out.

Dybala was met with a mixture of jeers and cheers when substituted soon after, with neither side able to find a winner in the remainder of the contest.

Chelsea could finally be set for a transfer breakthrough after reportedly agreeing to meet Leicester City's demands of around £70million for centre-back Wesley Fofana.

Fofana, 21, has been a key target for Chelsea in their bid to replace Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen, who departed for Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona earlier in the transfer window.

While the Blues have already spent £33m to secure 31-year-old Kalidou Koulibaly – who has started all three of their Premier League fixtures this season – Fofana is yet to enter his prime and could provide defensive security for the next decade.

 

TOP STORY – LEICESTER ACCEPT CHELSEA'S NEWEST BID FOR FOFANA

According to L'Equipe, Chelsea's successful bid for Fofana includes add-ons which could make him the most expensive defender in the history of football, surpassing the £80m Leicester received from Manchester United for Harry Maguire.

Leicester had been publicly declaring Fofana was not for sale, but the situation was accelerated by the defender missing a training session, leading to him being told to train with the Foxes' under-23s.

Fofana is yet to receive his first senior cap for France, but the increased visibility that will come with a move to Stamford Bridge could tee him up for a breakthrough World Cup campaign in Qatar.
 

ROUND-UP

– Ajax star Antony has engaged in a stunning interview with Fabrizio Romano, declaring his time in the Eredivisie has run its course amid strong interest from Manchester United.

– Marca are reporting Cristiano Ronaldo has decided his best option is to return to Sporting CP, where he began his career, despite the need to take a significant pay cut should he leave United.

– According to Calciomercato, Liverpool are considering including Roberto Firmino in their offer to Paris Saint-Germain for 28-year-old midfielder Leandro Paredes.

– Sky Sports claim West Ham have had an offer in the vicinity of £51m accepted by Lyon for their 24-year-old creator Lucas Paqueta.

Chelsea are set to trigger the £12.6million release clause for Dynamo Moscow's 19-year-old midfielder Arsen Zakharyan, per the Daily Mail.

Romelu Lukaku struggled in Inter's first defeat of the season at Lazio, but Simone Inzaghi was more concerned by the Nerazzurri's inability to win without the talismanic forward at his best.

Lukaku has returned on loan to Inter, where he won the 2020-21 Serie A title, after a difficult year with Chelsea.

The forward swiftly appeared to have rediscovered his best form in Italy, scoring two minutes into his second Inter debut against Lecce and then teeing up a Lautaro Martinez goal at home to Spezia.

But Friday's third match of the season at Lazio brought a reality check, with Lukaku scarcely troubling the capital club.

The Belgian attempted three shots – all with his head – but only one hit the target, and he did not create a single chance; his 19 touches were the fewest of any starter on either team.

Lukaku was substituted for Edin Dzeko in the 69th minute with the game level, yet Lazio went on to win 3-1.

"[Lukaku] had played the first two games in the best way," Inzaghi told DAZN when quizzed on the change.

"More than looking at the changes, we have to analyse a lost game, a direct clash that hurts.

"We know that we have to do more in these games to win, beyond the condition of Lukaku or Lautaro."

Martinez had equalised for the Nerazzurri early in the second half, but Inzaghi felt the game turned with a close-range Denzel Dumfries header that was saved just 88 seconds after that goal.

"The defeat stings for the way it happened," the coach explained. "The match was balanced and hard fought against a quality opponent.

"Luis Alberto's goal [Lazio's second] broke the game; at 1-1, we had Dumfries' chance that would have changed things.

"We had to show more nastiness on our side because these games are played in moments."

Inter suffered their first setback of the Serie A season as substitutes Luis Alberto and Pedro earned Lazio a 3-1 win at the Stadio Olimpico.

The Nerazzurri had been one of three teams to take six points from a possible six at the start of the campaign, but a trip to the capital on Friday represented their first real test.

And it was not one Simone Inzaghi's side passed at their coach's former home, despite initially recovering from Felipe Anderson's first-half header.

Lautaro Martinez took one of very few Inter opportunities to equalise, yet Romelu Lukaku had already been substituted by the time Luis Alberto restored Lazio's lead with a deflected strike, and there was no response second time around as Pedro added a late third.

Inter started the brighter of the two teams, but the first big chances fell to Ciro Immobile, who was uncharacteristically wasteful as he dragged one effort across the face of goal and tamely aimed another straight at Samir Handanovic.

Felipe Anderson's cutback created that second opening, and he was far more clinical five minutes before half-time.

Found by Sergej Milinkovic-Savic's gorgeous pass in behind, Felipe Anderson directed his downwards header beyond Handanovic for an opening goal that was deserved despite Inter's dominance in terms of the possession.

Martinez had Inter level when he reacted fastest to a loose ball in the Lazio area and prodded past Ivan Provedel, but their momentum waned.

Luis Alberto's blast benefited from a deflection off Nicolo Barella to leave Handanovic rooted and pick out the top-right corner, before Pedro cut inside from the left to curl beyond the goalkeeper after Immobile went down in the box.

Inter chief executive Giuseppe Marotta revealed the Nerazzurri are set to open contract talks with Paris Saint-Germain target Milan Skriniar after declaring the defender will "certainly" remain at San Siro.

Skriniar emerged as a top target for PSG after entering the final 12 months of his deal with the Serie A giants, for whom he has been a key figure since joining from Sampdoria in 2017.

The Slovakia captain has won one Scudetto and one Coppa Italia with the Nerazzurri and made his 175th league appearance for the club against Lazio on Friday. 

Only goalkeeper Samir Handanovic (188) has played more Serie A games for Inter in that time. 

While Marotta was unable to offer any guarantees over Skriniar's future when discussing the subject last month, coach Simone Inzaghi revealed the 27-year-old was set to stay last Saturday.

Marotta has now confirmed reports Inter are seeking to offer Skriniar a new deal, too, telling DAZN ahead of the trip to Lazio; "I must say that he is a very decent boy, we will start a dialogue with him as soon as possible, a negotiation.

"We would certainly like to sign a contract that can bind him to Inter for many years. 

"I am confident in the seriousness of the boy, I believe that this veiled threat [of PSG being able to sign Skriniar on a free next year] is not enough to undermine the player's values.

"I can say that last week the owner made explicit the will not to be flattered by PSG's requests.

"I can say that Skriniar is a very important element in the team's playing system, as such he will certainly remain."

Jose Mourinho backed Paulo Dybala to make an impact when he returns to Juventus as a Roma player on Saturday, as he praised the Argentina forward's contribution since joining the Giallorossi.

Roma have recorded back-to-back 1-0 wins over Salernitana and Cremonese to start the Serie A season, and Saturday's clash in Turin represents a real test of both sides' Scudetto credentials.

The Giallorossi's acquisition of Dybala, who left Juventus upon the expiration of his contract in July, was regarded as something as a coup after he scored 82 league goals during a seven-year spell in Turin.

That haul places Dybala 10th in Juventus' all-time Serie A goalscoring charts, making him the highest-scoring non-European player in their league history and their fourth-most prolific non-Italian (after John Hansen, David Trezeguet and John Charles).

Asked how Dybala will handle the prospect of returning to his former club, Mourinho said: "It depends on the personality of the individual. For some players coming home is nothing, for others it is difficult. For others it is 50-50. 

"For Paulo I don't know, he has the face of a child but he is not. He has a lot of experience, then the control of his emotions depends on him. 

"From how he worked these days I have not seen anything different. I expect a normal game, maybe with a little more emotion than before."

Asked about Dybala's impact since his arrival, Mourinho added: "For me it is very good. I did not expect more at the moment. In the last two years he has had little continuity. He did not start the pre-season like the others, he arrived late. 

"At the [Stadio] Olimpico playing on that surface is really hard, it's like running on a Portuguese beach! I see him well and with good character."

 

Juventus have won 85 of their 176 Serie A matches against Roma, recording more league victories over the Giallorossi than against any other club, and triumphed 4-3 when the sides last met at the Stadio Olimpico in January.

But Mourinho called for his team to put past meetings behind them, as he declared Roma would not be satisfied with a draw at the Allianz Stadium.

"Playing against a top team is nice, but it is nothing special compared to usual. I have played many times in Turin, tomorrow will be one more. There is no connection with the past," he added.

"First of all, we have to think that every match is an isolated match. This Juve-Roma has nothing to do with the next or the last one. 

"What happened in the past shouldn't affect us. We can prepare the team as best we can, but we always do it. It's not that we do it more with Juve than we did with Cremonese.

"Last year in Turin [a 1-0 defeat in October 2021] we played to win, we played well. Regardless of what happened, I was happy with the attitude, not the result. 

"I expect the same attitude. Roma must try to win. We are not going to play for a draw, we want to win tomorrow. We will go there to win, if we lose then we will lose."

Mourinho has lost his last two matches against Juventus; throughout his entire managerial career, he has only recorded more than two consecutive defeats against a single opponent on one occasion, losing four successive games against Liverpool in the Premier League as Chelsea boss.

Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri insists he is not concerned by Dusan Vlahovic's struggles as the Bianconeri prepare to host fellow Scudetto hopefuls Roma.

Allegri faced fierce criticism from Juventus supporters in the aftermath of Monday's 0-0 draw at Sampdoria, during which Vlahovic managed just nine touches overall, and a mere three before the break. 

No player to take the field for 90 minutes in a Serie A game has had fewer touches since David Trezeguet had eight for Juventus against Catania in May 2008.

Since the start of last season, meanwhile, Vlahovic has scored 26 Serie A goals in 38 appearances, but just nine of those have come since his January move to Juventus (in 17 appearances).

Vlahovic has also gone from averaging a goal every 109 minutes for Fiorentina to scoring every 139 minutes for the Bianconeri, although his big chance conversation rate has risen since his move to Turin (80 per cent, as opposed to 73.33 per cent for Fiorentina last term).

With Juve's lack of creativity becoming a key talking point at the start of the campaign, Allegri is adamant Vlahovic's lack of involvement is not a worry.

"If he touched a ball and scored a goal, I'd be happy," Allegri said. "We had a bad first half with Sampdoria. 

"The games last 95 minutes, I got angry because in the second half the game had to be grasped. They were in trouble, we had opportunities that we didn't take advantage of. 

"It is normal that the performance of the first half should be improved, but there were also the merits of Sampdoria who closed the spaces and made the defenders play a lot.

"Last year we laid the foundations to go back to winning. We will try to do it, we will also see the market as it ends. The fun for me is winning and to do it you have to go through difficult moments. 

"It takes a little patience. That's why the other day, after the first half you had to stay calm because you could only improve."

Vlahovic will now be joined in the Juventus attack by Arkadiusz Milik, who has arrived from Marseille, while Paris Saint-Germain's Leandro Paredes has also been linked with a move to Turin.

Though Allegri refused to be drawn on the future of the Argentina midfielder, he believes Milik could form an effective partnership with Vlahovic and is prepared to throw him in immediately.

"Paredes hasn't arrived yet and I don't know if he will arrive. We need to concentrate on tomorrow's match," he added.

"[I'm] very happy with Milik, he has impressive numbers. As regards his characteristics, he can also play with Vlahovic. 

"We are waiting for the clearance that I hope will arrive in the afternoon, so tomorrow will be available. Since I haven't decided on the line-up yet, maybe I'll let him play from the beginning. But I don't know until tomorrow, this idea flashed on me."

Meanwhile, Juventus have been handed a difficult draw for the Champions League's group stages, where they will meet PSG, Benfica and Maccabi Haifa.

And Allegri expects Juve to face a direct battle for second place with the Portuguese outfit, adding: "In the Champions League these are all difficult matches, on paper PSG is stronger. 

"On paper, we play for the next round with Benfica. It is unlikely that there are easy games in Europe."

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