As the title race ended last weekend the focus in Italian football has been on a tight race for the remaining Champions League spots. This league has been deprived of excitement for years now and a such a development late in the season is welcomed by fans and pundits alike. The only negative in all of it is that neither of those teams is playing exceptionally well and the race is tight simply because neither team can string together a few wins a secure a spot.
As predicted by many the Derby D’italia between Inter and Juventus was a dull one and ended in a draw. Inter simply weren’t good enough to beat Juventus and Juventus didn’t care enough to win which resulted in a draw which many predicted.
Another team that’s fighting for the CL won yesterday and it was a convincing victory for Roma who is playing better with the arrival of Claudio Ranieri. Roma has been the team featured in most of the news since there is heavy speculation that they are in the pursuit of Antonio Conte to be their next manager. Ranieri himself was asked about it after the win to which he responded that he would be delighted to have him at Roma and joked that he would pick him up at the airport himself.
Miralem Pjanic to leave Torino
In other news, we have some transfer speculation surrounding Juventus. Miralem Pjanic is a hot name wanted by many big clubs most notably PSG and Real Madrid and reports are suggesting that he would consider Real Madrid but Juventus are determined to keep him as they see him as a central piece in their team. They have a price in mind and they have shown themselves willing to sell players but only if they ask to leave. Whether Pjanic will, remains to be seen.
News coming out of Italy has been dominated by Juventus which is hardly a surprise to anyone. Indeed the Italian giants managed to secure their 8th title in a row, a feat that has never been achieved in any of the top five European leagues. That in itself is not huge news since they were practically the Champions months ago when Napoli had a bad stretch and allowed the point difference to balloon to 15 points. Some other tidbits came out that are far more interesting.
Ronaldo will stay with Juve
A lot of people speculated whether this will be the last time Allegri leads the team and it looks like it won’t. Senior club officials, as well as the manager himself, confirmed this yesterday. Cristiano Ronaldo also confirmed he is going nowhere despite some speculating that he wasn’t happy in Turin especially after the humiliating loss to Ajax midweek.
In other news, the battle for the Champions League spots became a bit more complicated. Milan didn’t win in Parm having to settle on only one point which won’t help them in the endeavour of securing CL football next season. On the other hand, Inter and Roma split points as well in a match where Inter would have probably wanted to secure 3 points and consolidate themselves as the favourite for the 3rd spot.
And lastly, transfer speculation is already underway and has been for months in the cases of Mauri Icardi and Edin Dzeko. Both of them are very prolific goalscorers and have been for years in Italy and both of them are set to move this summer as they have fallen out of favour with their respective clubs after a very bleak season. Icardi could potentially be used a chip in a swap deal between Inter and Juventus which could land Dybala in Milan.