'The future depends on what you do today' – Pjanic in cryptic message amid Barca links

By Sports Desk May 21, 2020

Juventus star Miralem Pjanic said "the future depends on what you do today" amid growing links to LaLiga champions Barcelona.

Pjanic has been at the centre of transfer speculation, with the Juve midfielder tipped to swap the Serie A holders for Barca in a deal that could involve Arthur.

Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea are also reportedly interested in Bosnia-Herzegovina international Pjanic.

As Juve return to training this week amid the coronavirus pandemic, Pjanic shared a cryptic message via social media on Thursday.

Pjanic wrote: "The Future Depends On What You Do Today. Happy To Be Back On The Pitch."

The 30-year-old joined Juve from Italian rivals Roma in 2016.

Since moving to Turin, Pjanic has won three consecutive Serie A titles to go with Coppa Italia and Supercoppa Italiana honours.

Prior to COVID-19 suspending Serie A in March, Pjanic had scored three goals and supplied two assists in 22 league appearances.

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  • Juventus not signing Barca's Suarez, insists Paratici Juventus not signing Barca's Suarez, insists Paratici

    Juventus sporting director Fabio Paratici confirmed Barcelona star Luis Suarez will not be joining the Serie A champions, while insisting the club are not only eyeing Roma striker Edin Dzeko.

    Reportedly told he can leave embattled LaLiga giants Barca, veteran forward Suarez had been heavily linked with Cristiano Ronaldo's Juve following Gonzalo Higuain's move to David Beckham's Inter Miami in MLS.

    But a delay in securing an Italian passport for the 33-year-old Uruguay international has scuppered those plans, Paratici confirmed prior to Sunday's season-opening 3-0 win over Sampdoria.

    "Suarez can be removed from that list, because the time it takes to get the passport is longer than the transfer deadline or the moment we can hand in the Champions League lists," said Paratici, whose Juve have already filled their non-European quota.

    "We evaluated the Suarez option when it was proposed to us. He was in the process of getting Italian citizenship, so we evaluated the possibility of registering him in time.

    "It is not possible, so he was never really close."

    While Suarez is off the list, Juve – led by rookie head coach Andrea Pirlo – continue to be linked with Roma's Dzeko.

    Dzeko's proposed move to Juve is reportedly tied to Roma signing Napoli forward Arkadiusz Milik as a replacement in the Italian capital.

    Amid uncertainty over this future, Dzeko was an unused substitute in Roma's goalless draw at Hellas Verona on Saturday.

    "Let's say there isn't a Dzeko situation, it's a striker situation, as Juventus need a centre-forward," Paratici said as Juve reportedly try to re-sign Moise Kean from Everton. "We know what we want and are working towards that calmly, there are 15 days to go in the transfer window and we're in no rush.

    "There are other situations, not just Dzeko. We know what we want. We're working for a striker who can work with Cristiano Ronaldo and Paulo Dybala.

    "At this moment, we are seeking one striker, we have our objectives and will try to pursue them calmly, regardless of the names."

  • Gattuso: Napoli need to raise funds but I'd be happy to keep Man City and PSG target Koulibaly Gattuso: Napoli need to raise funds but I'd be happy to keep Man City and PSG target Koulibaly

    Napoli head coach Gennaro Gattuso acknowledged Kalidou Koulibaly is likely to leave the Serie A club but he would be happy to keep the star defender.

    Koulibaly has been strongly linked with Premier League giants Manchester City and Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain as Napoli look to raise funds following the club-record signing of Victor Osimhen.

    The 29-year-old Koulibaly played as Napoli opened their 2020-21 Serie A season with a 2-0 win at Parma on Sunday and Gattuso hailed the in-demand centre-back, who has also reportedly attracted interest from Manchester United.

    "I had no doubts, he is one of the strongest champions in the world in his role," Gattuso said via Sky Sport.

    "He has always given me great availability and always trains well. I would be sorry to lose him, both for the man and for the player.

    "But you know that numbers are important for clubs and at this moment something needs to be done for numbers, but I'd be happy to keep him."

    Osimhen made his debut for Napoli, coming off the bench to inspire the visitors as Dries Mertens and captain Lorenzo Insigne scored against Parma.

    Gattuso added: "It's not about numbers, but the principles of football. We know Osimhen is an added bonus, but we need to run before we have quality, because quality is not enough on its own.

    "We must set out the team with the right concepts and protect the defence, but we knew that Osimhen could give us another gear in the final 20-25 minutes today.

    "Osimhen is a lad who, in the 25 days I've been working with, I can tell doesn't forget where he started from, who made sacrifices, lost his family very young and has the head of a 40-year-old on 21-year-old shoulders.

    "I am confident he won't change, as he has a great attitude and at this moment is a better player than he's so far shown on the pitch."

  • Pirlo has given Juventus players a lot more freedom – Bonucci Pirlo has given Juventus players a lot more freedom – Bonucci

    Andrea Pirlo has unleashed the shackles and given Juventus' players a lot more freedom to attack opponents, according to veteran defender Leonardo Bonucci.

    Juve replaced Maurizio Sarri with first-time coach Pirlo last month and the legendary midfielder kicked off his tenure with a 3-0 win over Sampdoria in Juve's 2020-21 Serie A opener on Sunday.

    Reigning champions Juve registered 20 shots at Allianz Stadium and scored from three of them, with Cristiano Ronaldo, Bonucci and debutant Dejan Kulusevski finding the back of the net.

    And after a largely disappointing campaign last time out under Sarri, Bonucci believes that Pirlo has already made big changes during his short time in the dugout.

    "We saw some new ideas proposed by the coach and his staff, a new way of interpreting the game, a lot of enthusiasm both in possession and off the ball," he told Sky Sport Italia.

    "The big difference is the way we are attacking the game and taking the initiative, trying to bring home the result. Seeing the work of the last few weeks and this game, I think it is better.

    "There are different movements, as with Sarri we moved far more as a group in defence, whereas with Pirlo we are more one-on-one, giving us more freedom to be aggressive and win back the ball more often.

    "We have four central midfielders with the right characteristics to play like this. They are aggressive and also good at passing the ball. That way, we have more quality in possession, which I see as a difference from last season."

    Sarri was reportedly sacked by Juventus after failing to win over the dressing room with his style of play, which won him plenty of admirers at Serie A rivals Napoli.

    However, Bonucci insisted rumours that the club's old guard forced Sarri out of the door are wide of the mark.

    "We accepted any changes made by the club," he said. "This season, the new coach is Pirlo, who changed the way of understanding football that we had last year. 

    "It's early to say if it is right or not, but it is different, with a very precise mentality of being aggressive and not wanting to concede goals.

    "We had that same attitude last year, because you don't win nine Scudetti in a row without it.

    "We're old enough to behave like real professionals. Pirlo is now our coach and we have the utmost respect for all our coaches, just as we try to help all our coaches from within the locker room.

    "Fortunately, this is a squad full of great men who are accustomed to working with great champions. That makes it easier for everyone concerned."

    Asked if Pirlo reminded him more of Sarri or Massimiliano Allegri – another of his former bosses in Turin – Bonucci said: "Much more similar to Allegri, that is obvious. 

    "Pirlo has much the same impact he had as a player - you knew that you could give him the ball and trust he wouldn't lose it. Now it's the same as a coach. There is that same trust."

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