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Juventus thrash Bologna to seal Champions League spot

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Juve thrash Bologna to seal Champions League spot

(Reuters) -Juventus climbed into the top four on the final day of the Serie A season to secure Champions League qualification after the Turin club beat Bologna 4-1 and other results went their way.

Andrea Pirlo’s Juve side moved one point above Napoli into fourth place as Gennaro Gattuso’s team could only muster a 1-1 draw with mid-table Hellas Verona.

Serie A top scorer Cristiano Ronaldo was surprisingly left on the bench for the crucial game, but Juve made a fast start in his absence as Federico Chiesa put them in front after five minutes.

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Alvaro Morata and Adrien Rabiot struck before halftime to put the result beyond doubt and Morata doubled his tally early in the second half before Riccardo Orsolini pulled one back late on.

“We had nothing to lose, we had less to think about than the teams who had it in their hands,” Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini told DAZN.

“A fortnight ago it seemed impossible to reach fourth place after losing to Milan.

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“If we had always had this attitude, we would have been fighting for other objectives, but you can’t have regrets because Inter deserved to win the title.”

The Juve players huddled around a pitchside monitor at the end of the game to watch the final minutes of Napoli’s clash with Verona and roared with delight when the final whistle blew in Naples to guarantee Pirlo’s team a top-four spot.

DISAPPOINTING CAMPAIGN

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It has been a disappointing campaign for the Turin club, who won nine consecutive league titles before this season, and Pirlo’s future as coach has been called into question.

However, Juve ended the season strongly by beating Atalanta in Wednesday’s Coppa Italia final before making short work of a 12th-placed Bologna side with little left to play for.

“I 100 percent see myself on the bench of Juventus next season, but it is not me who decides,” Pirlo told DAZN.

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“Now we will enjoy the result we have achieved and in the next few days I will talk with the club.

“We struggled, we were afraid, but during this end to the season we understood the direction we need to go in and we finished off with a Coppa Italia and Champions League qualification. Everything has happened, it was a complicated year but I needed it to grow and improve.”

Rabiot’s shot came back off the bar early on but Chiesa was on hand to tuck in the rebound, and Paulo Dybala’s dazzling dribble and clever dinked pass set up Morata for the easiest of point-blank headed finishes for their second.

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Rabiot slid in Juve’s third shortly before the break and Morata made it four early in the second half with a cool finish, before Orsolini fired in a late consolation for the hosts.

Pirlo explained his decision to leave out Ronaldo, who claimed the Serie A top scorer crown with 29 league goals.

“It was a shared decision, he was tired after Wednesday,” Pirlo said. “He put himself at the disposal of the team but I chose to let Morata play instead. I have a quality squad with a lot of choices available.”

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(Reporting by Alasdair Mackenzie; Editing by Ken Ferris and Toby Davis)

Everton

Everton ready to part with Allan for Ramsey

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Everton ready to part with Allan for Ramsey

Aaron Ramsey could be back in the English Premier League if Rafael Benitez’s bid satisfies Juventus and the Everton manager seems set on doing anything for the Wales midfielder. 

Apparently, Benitez is willing to let Brazilian midfielder Allan move to Juventus just to have Ramsey join the Toffees squad.

To an extent, he is the only one that has shown interest in the Welshman.

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Ramsey came out great on Friday when he scored a goal in Wales’ 2-2 draw game against the Czech Republic, but the 30-year old hasn’t had a good run for his club recently, so it is unclear whether Benitez wants him for his experience, or if the Everton coach thinks that Ramsey has more to offer.

Calciomercato claims that Juventus coach Max Allegri has demanded to have Allan included in the deal to acquire Ramsey. Since Allan’s coordination with fellow midfielder Doucoure has aided Everton a whole lot this season, it is surprising that Benitez would forgo him for an “out of form” Ramsey.

Comparing Ramsey to Allan three years ago would have had the former take the upper hand, but their current worth is probably the opposite, placing such a deal under speculation.

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Since nothing has been finalized and anything can happen before a player transfer, it remains to be seen what Rafael Benitez will decide, whether Ramsey will join or replace Allan at Goodison Park.

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McKennie rejects West Ham, wants Tottenham move

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Weston McKennie Juventus F365

Juventus head coach Massimiliano Allegri recently pointed out McKennie as one of the players that he has not included in his plan for the new season.

Allegri has already prompted his club to bring in Axel Witsel from Borussia Dortmund as a replacement for the 22-year-old and the club will only sign the Belgian after they manage to offload McKennie in order to cut down on their wage bill.

Juventus and West Ham have been in talks over a move for McKennie, but now according to a report from Gazzetta dello Sport yesterday,  the young talent has allegedly rejected West Ham and wants to join Tottenham instead. 

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The Serie A club has been in talks with Tottenham too as another potential destination for the American with the two clubs agreeing on a fee under £40 million.

West Ham boss David Moyes wants to strengthen his side even further, despite a perfect start to the season, scoring 8 goals in their two opening games, and winning both to top the league table.

The club is already closing in on landing Kurt Zouma from fellow London club Chelsea. Zouma underwent medical yesterday in France, after he flew there for personal reasons.

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However, The Hammers want their own medics in England to look at the results before finalizing the deal.

Moyes would love to improve other areas too and missing out on a chance to land a versatile player like McKennie is a huge blow to the club, especially now that they are competing with some of the best clubs for European silverware.

The USA international mostly takes up a central midfield role but has also played as an attacking midfielder, a defensive midfielder and a centre back in the past while at Schalke and Juventus.

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He can be a go to during emergency situations and provide quality cover if need arises.

McKennie played 34 times in Serie A last season, under Andrea Pirlo netting five goals and making two assists.

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Football

Ronaldo terms speculations about his future as “disrespectful”

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Ronaldo terms speculations about his future as "disrespectful"

Cristiano Ronaldo issued a statement in response to reports linking him to both Manchester United and Manchester City, calling the conjecture “disrespectful.”

In an Instagram post on Monday, Ronaldo wrote: “Anyone who knows me is aware of how focused I am on my work.”

“Less talk and more action, this has been my guiding motto since the start of my career. However, in view of everything that’s been said and written recently, I have to set out my position,” stated the Portugal captain.

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“More than the disrespect for me as a man and as a player, the frivolous way that my future is covered in the media is disrespectful to all the clubs involved in these rumours, as well as to their players and staff.”

Ronaldo’s deal with Juventus ends in less than a year, which means the Serie A giants will have to trade this summer to recover a transfer fee for the five-time Ballon d’Or winner.

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