The news that Juventus have parted company with manager Antonio Conte will have been well received across all of Serie A.
Conte, who has overseen a glittering period in the club’s history with three consecutive Scudetto titles, announced his resignation earlier this week, with former AC Milan manager Massimiliano Allegri appointed as his successor.
It is also thought that his decision to step down may also stem from Manchester United’s lengthy pursuit of midfield bulldozer Arturo Vidal, although the club moved to dash any rumours of a departure on Wednesday afternoon.
Serie A title race widens
Conte’s departure will now open a door for the likes of Roma, Napoli and both Milan clubs to realistically challenge for the Serie A title with Juventus’ mastermind now gone.
Their squad is undoubtedly the strongest in the division having amassed a huge 102 points last term, but the departure of their manager will now throw many other players’ futures into doubt.
Even if they manage to keep Vidal out of Louis Van Gaal’s grip, then they face a huge challenge keeping France international Paul Pogba, who was voted the best young player at the World Cup and has been linked with a move back to the Premier League with Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea.
The Italian giants value him at around £60million, with financial constraints on the club making a possible return to England feasible.
Allegri suffered during his spell at Milan despite winning the Scudetto in 2011 and is unlikely to have the same lure as his predecessor that proved so key in landing Argentina striker Carlos Tevez last summer.
They have already missed out on Alexis Sanchez with the Chilean instead opting for Arsenal, and may need to sell Pogba in order to free up funds for this summer’s transfer window.
Whilst Juventus now face a struggle to maintain the dominance of old, fellow Italian superpowers will now sense an opportunity to usher in their own era of dominance.
Roma finished closest to Conte’s men last season and have already strengthened their squad with the signing of former England full-back Ashley Cole after he was released by Chelsea.
Napoli are in negotiations with Swansea City for the signing of Michu, who has enjoyed two fine seasons at the Liberty Stadium since arriving in 2012. The addition of the Spaniard to a squad already brimming with talent could be the difference in the title race next year.
The Serie A champions now face an uncertain period ahead of them. The success that has become so expected in Turin could now prove impossible to sustain.