A series of high-profile controversies, disputes and non-starters have placed Juventus in the doldrums in Serie A this season.
The seven-time defending champion has slumped to fourth place behind second-place Napoli and third-place AC Milan.
In the Champions League, Juventus has the daunting task of returning to Juventus Stadium for the last 16 second leg against Real Madrid on Tuesday.
But first, Juventus will be training Monday under armed guard at its Pescara training center after the soccer federation ordered a forensic search.
Italy’s soccer federation has ordered Juventus to pay approximately €170,000 ($193,000) to cover the cost of the search by a prosecutor investigating alleged financial irregularities linked to player transfers.
Another investigation has opened into alleged match-fixing in the European Super Cup in 2016.
Juventus has also been taken to court over allegations of tax evasion. Defender Giorgio Chiellini was summoned to appear in a suspected tax evasion case regarding around two million euros ($2.3 million) in bonuses he received for winning the Champions League and Coppa Italia in 2015.
The Bianconeri played as a team for the first time on Sunday to defeat Lazio 3-0 to stay in contention for an eighth successive league title.
But it wasn’t quite enough to keep Juve’s finals hopes alive. Lazio joined the gap at the top by defeating Sampdoria 3-0.
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After helping Barcelona to the Champions League title with his hat trick in a 6-1 aggregate demolition of Bayern Munich in the quarterfinals last year, Luis Suarez expects Madrid to bring out more of the best in him.
“Messi and I have had a great relationship on the pitch, we look at each other and play with the ball,” Suarez said in an interview with the Spanish news agency EFE. “In this match, we’ve both got to do our thing to help the team.”
Barca boasts a 27-point lead in La Liga over Valencia.
Napoli, which recorded only one league victory last month, finally fell back after a three-game winning streak.
Coach Carlo Ancelotti has endured a difficult season with the championship now only two months old.
“When you win, you play well and win. When you lose, you don’t play well and get beat,” Napoli captain Marek Hamsik said. “It’s too early to talk about a collapse.”
However, Hamsik added, “we didn’t find the same confidence we had before.”
With Roma holding the second qualifying spot in Serie A, Napoli will likely face a second-round qualifier against a team from one of the four qualifying groups.
Valencia is eighth in the standings and two points ahead of Fiorentina, the only other side to win more than once this season.
Inter Milan coach Luciano Spalletti said his club is considering making an offer for Brazilian forward Neymar, although he said there was no question of blocking his move to Paris Saint-Germain.
“Our presidents know exactly who Neymar is,” Spalletti said in an interview with Italian television station TG3. “If PSG wants him, we are watching him.”
Campiono was appointed Inter Milan’s coach on Friday, replacing the fired Luciano Spalletti.
SPAL says it will appeal a one-match touchline ban handed to midfielder Domenico Berardi for a red card against Napoli.
Campiono played just one game for Inter Milan last season, failing to make a single appearance under Spalletti.
Adriano (Tottenham), Josep (Inter)
The following are foreign players whose clubs or national team are subject to FIFA transfer ban:
Sergio Amante (Brazilian club Vitoria)
More than 20 transfer deals have been completed in the transfer window, opening on Friday and closing on Thursday.
Winners of the English Premier League title three years in a row, Manchester City has so far added to its own core by bringing in centre back Aymeric Laporte from Athletic Bilbao.
Italian newspaper Tuttosport released the list of 40 finalists for the Golden Boy award, given to the best under-21 player in Europe by journalists from around the continent. Get to know the finalists for the 2019 edition, featuring names like Kylian Mbappe