Juventus boss Antonio Conte claims it would be unfair on his current playing squad to discuss rumors linking Carlos Tevez with a move to Turin.
Club director Guiseppe Marotta hinted on Saturday that the Serie A champion would be interested in making a bid for the Manchester City striker as it looks to bolster its attacking options ahead of the new campaign.
However, speaking after his side's 3-2 defeat to Sampdoria on Saturday evening, Conte claimed it would be unfair on his current players to talk about transfer speculation immediately after the successful title defense.
"I think you should be giving credit to my guys for what they did on the pitch this year. Talking about the market right now does not seem respectful to them," he told reporters.
Conte's charges were beaten for the second time this season by a spirited Sampdoria side, despite controlling the majority of the match, and the former midfielder admits he has been left irked by both defeats.
"Sampdoria has taken six points from us this year but both matches have left a bitter taste in the mouth," he continued. "My boys played well. They created much, but we were unlucky. If we had been more careful in the final phase we could have brought home a different result. Luckily, it is a painless defeat."
Conte recently affirmed his commitment to the club after a meeting with president Andrea Agnelli but he maintains his future was never really in question.
"With Agnelli there was nothing to convince me [to stay]. It was just to sit at a table and exchange a couple of things," he explained. "The squad agrees with my assessments - there is no problem. [Nicklas] Bendtner was unfortunate [with injury]. I wish him the best of luck because we're talking about a great guy."
Finally, Conte paid tribute to his side's mental toughness after a grueling campaign saw it clinch its second successive Scudetto, and pointed to Inter's recent demise following its treble in 2010 as proof that it must not rest on its laurels.
"I believe Juventus is mentally strong. Last year we started with the aim of third place and instead we won," he added. "This year we were very good at holding out concentration and handling the pressure, since we started the season as favorites.
"We no longer think of Inter's treble. Yes, it is a team that won everything. But the cycle will not stop there. Winning is not a means to building strength."
- Sports & Recreation