Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri says he can’t wait to start working with his 90 million euro man Gonzalo Higuain but warned the striker not to come to Turin expecting his place in the side is assured.
“It will not be easy for us to win the championship again,” said Allegri, who’s team are going for a sixth straight Serie A title.
“Of course I am looking forward to having Gonzalo Higuain as part of the squad. He is an important signing but he is one of a number of them who will all be fighting for positions.”
It’s been a frantic week for the Serie A champions with a young squad touring on one side of the world, while serious business deals are going on in the other.
With Higuain coming in as a club record signing, the word on the street has been that Juve’s much in-demand Paul Pogba is on his way out — to Manchester United for an estimated 100 million euros.
Allegri has remained tight-lipped on that particular transfer but said he was happy with the five signings the Bianconeri had so far made during the off-season, among them the former Roma midfielder Miralem Pjanic, who joined for 32 million euros.
“Every season is a new beginning,” said Allegri, who has brought his squad to Hong Kong for an exhibition match.
“We will all meet up on Monday in Turin and get to work — with the new players and with the players we have had on this tour. We have a lot of work to do.”
The amount Juve paid for Higuain puts him behind only Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale (100 million euros) and Cristiano Ronaldo (94 million euros) on the all-time transfer list — pending of course any movement with Pogba.
Higuain was Thursday rolled out in front of the Juventus faithful for the first time since news of his 90 million euro move from Serie A rivals Napoli broke earlier in the week, a transfer that has the Turin club in raptures but was branded by his former boss as a “betrayal”.
“I hope to repay the faith of the club’s directors and of course to demonstrate my value in the coming season with Juventus,” Higuain told a press conference at Juventus Stadium. “The efforts to bring me here were truly humbling and it is up to me to show my worth to my new fans.”
Higuain was the top scorer in Italy last season with 36 goals, enough to lift Napoli to second behind Juventus, who secured their fifth straight Serie A crown.
Allegri and his young squad are in Hong Kong to play local side South China, the final leg of a pre-season tour that has included games in Australia against Melbourne Victory and Tottenham Hotpsur.