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 By Ben Gladwell
Aug 18, 2014

Arturo Vidal desperate to play - Allegri

Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri has said Arturo Vidal is like a "lion in a cage" as he waits to return to the field.

- Rzouki: Juventus remain a work in progress

The Chilean, still at the centre of intense transfer speculation amid links with Manchester United, has yet to make his first appearance for Juve during preseason.

The knee injury which left his World Cup participation in doubt right until the very last minute has not healed entirely, which is why Allegri has yet to risk the 27-year-old.

With another few days of training behind him, Vidal could play either on Wednesday in a friendly against Juve's reserves at Villar Perosa or in the Trofeo TIM against AC Milan and Sassuolo on Saturday.

"He's desperate to play, but he still needs a bit more training," Allegri told La Gazzetta dello Sport at the end of the Bianconeri's tour of Australasia. "He's like a lion in a cage. He'll play in Villar Perosa or in the Tim."

The persistent rumours of a move away from Turin this summer are not one of the reasons why Vidal has yet to feature in preseason, however, with Allegri seeing no reason why Vidal would want to leave anyway.

"Arturo's spirits are very high," he continued. "It's only normal that there is speculation about him -- big clubs are always looking for big players, but Vidal is already at a big club."

That club has just won three consecutive Serie A titles, and a fourth is the objective this season, even if they do not expect to win it as spectacularly as last season.

"It's impossible to get 102 points [again], usually 84-85 are enough to win the league," Allegri said. "For me, just getting one point more than second place would be enough."

He also hopes to improve Juve's fortunes in Europe, where they were knocked out in the group stage last season having reached the quarterfinals the year before.

"Fortunately, in four editions I've always got through the group stage," said the former AC Milan coach. "Once, I made it to the quarters. The Champions League is a fascinating, unique tournament and our primary objective is to reach the knockout stage.

"All I can say is that you've got to have faith, but at the same time, we've got to be realistic. There are clubs in there with incredibly budgets -- Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Manchester City and others.

"This doesn't mean that Juve cannot aim to go a long way. We've got a lot of quality and we've got individuals who still have margin for improvement -- [Paul] Pogba, [Claudio] Marchisio, Vidal, [Kingsley] Coman, [Fernando] Llorente, [Kwadwo] Asamoah, [Alvaro] Morata.

"If they all improve by 10 percent individually, then that would increase the value of our whole team."

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