Massimiliano Allegri has cautious optimism for Paul Pogba’s return for Juventus in time for Real Madrid, confirming he’ll likely feature this weekend.
The Frenchman has missed the last five weeks with a hamstring injury, and also sat out this week’s Champions League semi-final first leg win over Los Blancos.
However, having returned to training yesterday, the youngster is in line to feature tomorrow evening against Cagliari.
His Coach has today confirmed as much, but also hinted as caution on the ramifications for Wednesday’s return leg in Madrid.
“A framework of possibilities [of his availability against Real Madrid] is hard to say,” Allegri began in today’s pre-Cagliari Press conference.
“I can only say that Pogba yesterday trained with the rest of the team and also did well, he has been working with the ball, so I think that there is the chance that tomorrow he can play, either from the start or during the game.
“Certainly he will not be in a position to play the whole game, but it is important so as to have him available in Madrid, to check his physical condition and especially his recovery and the feel for the ball and the game.”
It was put to Allegri that having secured the Scudetto last weekend, he can now dip into his squad’s depth and rotate a few players.
“First, we have the duty and the objective to surpass 80 points, we still have four games - tomorrow against Cagliari, then the last home game with Napoli, then two away games, with Inter and Verona.
“So we still have 12 points available and we have to try to take them.
“Tomorrow I will change something, also because between Saturday’s game with Sampdoria and Tuesday’s with Real Madrid the team has expended a lot of energy.
“And especially because I have other players who are in good condition, able to play a good game tomorrow and above all to try to win this game.”
Allegri was prompted for comment on the recent run of results having come in Pogba’s absence.
“This is first a demonstration that the company has done well in the market, with the squad, adding to an historical group.
“Important signings were made, with young players, who have had time to adapt, which to a team like Juventus, that has to play every game to win, is not easy.
“Just look at Morata, who at the beginning had ups and downs. Coman did well, but then you have seen he has played less and has had ups and downs too. Sturaro then arrived, he had a moment of adaptation, but there was no need to show that he was a good player against Real Madrid, for me.
“He is a young player still adapting, the same goes for Pereyra - he speaks like a veteran but I believe he is only 23.
“It is important to provide a future for this team and especially when there is a generational change, or we have a gap to fill, to have players in line already ready to come in.
“So I believe the club did well during the last year in the market and I think they will do well again this year.”