Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri insists he has “great confidence” in Weston McKennie despite reports the midfielder could be transferred.
The 23-year-old American has played seven times for Juventus this season, but is still not a regular starter for Allegri.
Reports in Italy claim he could move in January, as Juve are said to be prioritizing the signing of midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni from Monaco.
But, despite the speculation around his future, Allegri insists the United States international can play a key role for the Bianconeri.
“He can’t play in the middle in front of the defense. He has goals in his legs,” he told reporters ahead of his side’s Serie A clash with Roma (4th, 15 points) on Sunday (2:45 p.m. ET).
“It is not true that I don’t have a good feeling with him. On the contrary, he played a very orderly game against Torino. I have great confidence in him, otherwise he would not play.
“He was back on Thursday, tomorrow I don’t know if he will play from the start or come on during the game.”
McKennie is coming off an October international break in which he played two of three matches for the U.S. national team in victories over Jamaica and Costa Rica, going the full 90 in both contests. It was a return for McKennie after he was suspended and dismissed in September after breaking COVID-19 team protocols.
Juventus squad questions
Aaron Ramsey is another player whose future at Juve has come into question. The Wales midfielder has started just one of his four matches for the Turin giants and it has been reported that they are willing to let him leave on a free transfer.
“There was nothing to clarify. He is a player I count on a lot, he had an injury and was a little off, now he has played two matches for the national team,” Allegri said. “I don’t know if he will play from the start, but he is a player I rely on.”
Allegri is also unsure on the availability of Alvaro Morata for Sunday’s encounter against Roma. The Spanish attacker missed their previous match against Torino with injury but may be fit enough after a two-week break, although Paulo Dybala will not be part of the squad.
“Morata will train with the team today, but it depends on how many risks are taken for him to be available as we don’t want to nullify all the work done by the doctors,” Allegri said.
“Dybala absolutely not, he is far behind Morata and he will not be there. I believe that within a week, maximum 10 days, [Dybala] will be available to the team.”