Allegri defends imminent Caceres signing and confirms Benatia exit close

Martin Caceres is nearing his return for a third Juventus spell, while Medhi Benatia is leaving, Massimiliano Allegri confirmed on Saturday.

Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri insists Martin Caceres is not a "makeshift solution" as the Uruguayan closes in on a return to the club to facilitate Medhi Benatia's expected departure.

Morocco international Benatia is reported to be close to signing for Qatari club Al-Duhail, a deal which will make him their first major signing since appointing Jose Mourinho's former assistant Rui Faria as head coach.

Caceres, 31, has been picked as his replacement, with Juve confirming on Saturday he has arrived in Turin to begin a medical ahead of his third spell at the club.

Although versatile – being able to play anywhere across the back – and experienced, the choice of Caceres has been seen as a curious option among Juve fans, particularly given he has featured only four times in Serie A this season for Lazio.

Allegri has full confidence in the defender, however, and believes his familiarity with the club makes him an even better option.

"Martin Caceres is not a makeshift solution, but a strong choice, because Medhi Benatia has asked to leave," Allegri told reporters ahead of Sunday's clash with the Uruguayan's current club Lazio.

"Caceres is a good player and knows this environment. I know Caceres and he can give a lot to Juventus.

"He is a player who is ready to go here, whilst others would take more time settling in, learning the environment.

"Benatia made a choice and the club evaluated and accepted his request. It wouldn't make sense to keep a player here who is reluctant [to stay]. He made great strides at Juve, but I'm sorry about his choice [to leave]."