Leonardo Bonucci is frozen out at Juventus and his former coach admits the rapport with Max Allegri ‘had been far from ideal for a long time.’

The veteran centre-back was left behind in Turin when the squad flew out for a pre-season tour of the USA, with the club desperate to get him off their books a year before the contract is due to expire in June 2024.

“The rapport between Bonucci and Allegri had not been ideal for a long time and the first split was seen when he went to Milan,” confirmed Carlo Perrone, who worked with Bonucci at Viterbese, on Sportitalia.

“I think it is from the input of the coach that they have decided to do without a leader like Bonucci. It is really sad, but accepting these decisions is part of the profession of being a football player.

“I don’t believe it was a good decision from Juventus, as a team that needs to renovate itself could really do with a figure like Bonucci.”

The arrival of new director of sport Cristiano Giuntoli from Napoli has also sparked a clear-out, but Perrone is convinced there is only one person to blame.

“I believe it was Allegri’s decision. I also think Bonucci still wants to play for Italy at the Euros, so he wants regular playing time. The most realistic alternative would be Lazio, as he already worked with Maurizio Sarri.”

Perrone was the coach who in Bonucci’s youth transformed him from a midfielder to a centre-back who can spray long passes from defence.

Now 36, Bonucci first joined Juventus from Bari in 2017 for €42m and remained ever since, except for that brief one-season switch to Milan in 2017-18.

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