Angel Di Maria fakes injury worries in order not to feature as a substitute during Juventus visit to Bologna

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Juventus attacker Angel Di Maria supposedly withdrew from contention for the Old Lady encounter against Bologna with an injury, after the world cup winner was told by Massimiliano Allegri that he would be named amongst the substitutes for the game. 

Di Maria was excluded from Allegri’s 23-man team for the visit to the Renato Dall’Ara Stadium to face Bologna. Ahead of the game, Juventus asserted that the Argentine was left out due to an ankle problem.

Based on reports from Italian website Tuttosport, the Argentine has apparently clashed with Massimiliano Allegri before the game.

Di Maria informed the Juventus gaffer he was suffering from the injury after being informed he would be left out of the starting eleven.

Maximilano Allegri and Angel Di Maria
Maximilano Allegri and Angel Di Maria

Di Maria’s injury has been seen as a ploy to water down a bigger issue between the player and manager, with Juventus facing important games in their bid to secure European football.

This reported confrontation comes in the midst of speculations of unrest amongst Juventus players, who are not happy with the coaching pattern and tactical approach of Allegri.

Tension in and around the Juventus team heightened further in recent weeks as the 36-time scudetto winner lost their previous three Serie A matches under Allegri.

Juventus have also only picked up just one victory in their last five matches in all competitions.

The 35-year-old supposed feud with Allegri looks almost certain to end any predictions of the Argentine’s deal being improved for a further year with his present contract expiring at the end of this season.

The former Real Madrid man is still contemplating on if he should continue playing one more season in Europe or if he should return to his home country to pen a contract for his hometown side Rosario Central.

Angel Di Maria has played 32 games across all competitions during his debut season for the Bianconeri, bagging eight goals and creating seven assists. 

This is in spite of being unavailable for many early fixtures this campaign because of an adductor injury.

Although he started in the Old Lady recent Europa League and Coppa Italia games, Di Maria has only started in one of Juventus’ last six Serie A games.

Italian faithfuls and media feel Massimiliano Allegri has failed to create a symbiotic relationship with Di Maria, one of the few big names in the squad.

The former AC Milan manager has faced bashing for failing to make Di Maria understand how integral he is to Juventus’ setup, even when his game time has been reduced to manage his fitness.

Juventus manager, Maximilano Allegri
Juventus manager, Maximilano Allegri

The impact of Angel Di Maria on the club have been bigger than other Juventus midfielders, such as Manuel Locatelli who has had a poor campaign despite playing more games than the Argentine.

This reported feud has resulted in questions about Allegri’s ability to form strong bonds with the team’s biggest names.

Allegri’s thoughts on the absence of Di Maria

However, Maximilano Allegri also responded to the reports that Di Maria backed out of the game stating that he needs “healthy players”.

He told Sky Italia when questioned on Di Maria’s issues: “He had an ankle causing him pain”

“When someone is 50-50, I leave him at home. I need healthy players on the bench. Di Maria is an important player for us.”

Di Maria’s unavailability has come at a time when Juventus have an important month in view, which will see much of the team playing with their own future in mind, with the clash revealing the issues inherent in the Italian Giants.

The Bianconeri avoided losing four Serie A games in a row for the first time since the 1961-62 campaign when they drew 1-1 with Thiago Motta’s Bologna at the Renato Dall’Ara Stadium on Sunday night.

Riccardo Orsolini put Bologna ahead after just 10 minutes but Polish international Arkadiusz Milik equalized for Juventus in the 61st minute.

Juventus following that share of the spoils with Bologna sit third on the Serie A table with 60 points from 32 games, 3 points ahead of Inter Milan who occupy the 4th spot and one point behind Lazio who sit 2nd.

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