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Sarri has no Pjanic problems despite talk of imminent Arthur swap

3 months ago
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There is growing belief that Miralem Pjanic will join Barcelona and Arthur will head to Juventus, but Maurizio Sarri is not interested.

Juventus head coach Maurizio Sarri says he has no concerns about Miralem Pjanic's suitability to his plans despite talk of an imminent swap deal involving Barcelona's Arthur.

There is a growing belief that the two clubs have agreed to a deal that would see Juve pay Barca €10million and send Pjanic to Camp Nou in exchange for Brazil international Arthur.

Rumours of such a deal have persisted for many weeks, with both clubs said to see the arrangement as a useful way of balancing the books amid the financial uncertainty brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, but Arthur was reportedly not interested in a move until a change of heart in the past few days.

Speaking ahead of Juve's Serie A clash with Lecce on Friday, which could stretch their lead over Lazio at the top of the table to seven points, Sarri insisted he has not been told by the club that Pjanic is bound for the exit.

He also made it clear he is not pushing for the midfielder to leave despite suggestions Pjanic is not wholly compatible with Sarri's preferred system.

"If he is sold, it'll be for other reasons. He is not under discussion from a technical point of view," he said on Thursday.

"But the club haven't given me any signals in that sense, so I don't take it into consideration.

"The discussions between him and me are on technical and mental aspects. He mustn't worry if he misses a game, but he has to react quickly.

"I'm happy with Miralem and I'm sure, in that role, he can improve further."

When asked specifically about Arthur, Sarri replied: "Arthur is a Barcelona player and I don't want to talk about him."

Sarri had appeared irked by the fact Barca counterpart Quique Setien spoke about the rumours this week, claiming Arthur was affected by the speculation.

"Given how things are, we need all of our players and we'll try and isolate ourselves from this situation and the media who are reporting on and talking about these rumours," Setien said.

"We need him to be focused. It's true it is a difficult situation but we have to overcome it somehow."

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