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Benatia: ‘Pjanic wants to stay with Juventus’

April 2, 2020

Former Juventus defender Medhi Benatia reveals  Miralem Pjanic wants to stay at Juventus, despite offers from PSG and Real Madrid.

Benatia left Juventus for Al Duhail after a falling out with coach Max Allegri, but the Moroccan international remains close to his former teammates.

The 30-year-old played alongside Pjanic at Roma and Juventus and explained that the Bosnian midfielder wants to remain in Turin.

“Before Inter, Mire didn’t feel at his best, but let’s look at how many games he has played,” Benatia told Tuttosport.

“He’s among the Bianconeri players with the most appearances. He has also adapted to a new tactical system and since Sarri came, Juventus have often played with a trequartista behind the two strikers.

“He had to run a lot, just like Matuidi. Both confessed to me that they were exhausted. That’s hard for everyone. Less ball possession and more running. In the end, he injured his adductors.

“I understand that Sarri wants him to play the ball more, but he must be physically well for the team to benefit. Mire is always able to find you in position when the opponents press. He has more quality than the others.

“Bentancur has a bright future ahead of him and will become one of the best, but at the moment he is still a step behind.

“Pjanic also self-criticise, he doesn’t get angry if he is replaced knowing he is not playing well. He will try to recover his contribution. He is the first to take it out on himself. At the end of a game I called to compliment him, he was nervous and told me he had played a bad game because he lost possession in two dangerous situations.

“This break will do Pjanic good; he can return to be the best in Italy and among the best in the world.

“He still has three years left on his contract and he’s fine at Juventus, but it’s true that he has the possibility to leave in every transfer market, PSG are interested in him, earlier, even Real Madrid was looking at him but, in the end, he extended with the Bianconeri.

“His love for Juventus prevailed, where he feels confident. In the dressing room he is one of the senators, he knows how to make himself heard and respected.

“Then, we know, situations can change, the club can decide to sell him. But if it depends on the player, he will stay in Turin. He has never told me that he wants to change environment, quite the contrary.

“With Juve, he changed his mentality, now he plays to win, always.”

Juventus have invested heavily in Merih Demiral and Matthijs De Ligt, two players Benatia has great faith in.

“De Ligt has everything it takes to stay ten years in Turin, He is one of the best around and, since he arrived in Turin, he has developed in training next to many great champions.

“But I also like Demiral, he impressed me from the first game, the summer friendly against Inter. He confirmed the words of a friend of mine at Sassuolo.

“I also spoke to Pjanic about it. I told him he would play, even if Mire was a little sceptical. Demiral can be aggressive, breathe the attacker down the neck, always looking to anticipate. It’s sad about the injury.”

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