Club News

Mandzukic: ‘I’m staying at Juventus’

May 8, 2016 - 8:42 am

Mario Mandzukic has confirmed he intends to stay at Juventus and believes Paul Pogba will become ‘the best in the world’.

Speaking to Croatian newspaper Sportske Novosti, the striker discussed his first season at Juventus and the upcoming scudetto celebrations.

“We haven’t celebrated properly, as the season is not yet complete and we need to stay focused. We’ll get the chance to have a party on May 14 against Sampdoria.

“The club is organising something at the Juventus Stadium and I think it’s going to be wonderful.

“I knew this was a big club with a fantastic tradition behind it, but unless you get to experience it for yourself, you can’t realise how perfectly the club is organised, the mentality and temperament, which are unique.

“I am really impressed with the organisation here and I have been at other big clubs. Especially during moments of crisis, the directors and staff really protected the squad.

“I am very happy here and I feel extraordinary! I had bad luck with injuries, but now I feel great and that is why I’m happy.

“The start was not easy in Turin, as for the first time I had physical problems and was coming face to face with Italian football.

“On top of that we had 10 new players in the squad, so it took time to settle and solidify the team unit. The turning point came after the defeat to Sassuolo, as in the locker room we looked each other in the eye and confronted the issues.

“That’s when I realised this group had character and Juve were going to have a great campaign.

“He [Allegri] helped me a great deal. He wanted me at Juve, he was close to me when I wasn’t well and always supported me. If Diego Simeone is a gladiator, then Allegri is a man of character and his results speak for him.

“I want to stay here, 100 per cent. I am happy at Juve and next season we can do even better. The important thing is to maintain the squad and introduce a couple of stars. That way we can fight to win the Champions League.”

Mandzukic turned his attention to teammate Paul Pogba, who has impressed him this season.

“I have seen many great midfielders in my career, but nobody can compare to Pogba in terms of age, quality and potential.

“He will become one of the best in the world, if not the best. I already told him, ‘You have to stay in Turin for another couple of years to complete that step up in quality.’

“I am also very close to Patrice Evra. He is the wise old sage of the group. I really like him as he is someone outside of the norm. You know you can always rely on him.”

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  • Avatar
    BelgianJuventino May 9, 2016 at 10:47 am

    Juve is reportedly after Montolivo and De Sciglio. Monto would be a free agent to replace Claudio and add depth, while De Sciglio is a versatile defender.

    I would be okay with both of these actually. I like De Sciglio, despite his injury problems. I never really admired Monto though, but as free agent, why not? He knows the League and is experienced. Will be benched once Claudio is back too.

    And apparently the Pjanic story has sole truth, Marotta reported to consider using his 38mill buyout clause.

    This would majorly piss off Roma, but would also be a good player coming in..

    Cant make up my mind if this is a good move to make

    • Avatar
      ADP#10 May 9, 2016 at 7:33 pm

      I have to disagree with getting Montolivo, he wouldn’t add anything to the squad. Seeing how Milan fans react to whenever he plays, he must be pretty awful now. We already need to release 2 of Hernanes, Pereyra, Sturaro, and Asamoah, none of them have convinced. For me, the two to depart would be Hernanes and Asamoah, and need to be replaced with better quality. Montolivo is no better than the players who will be leaving, and it can be argued that he is worse.

      I wouldn’t mind De Sciglio if we cannot get Vrsalkjo, but Vrsaljko should be our priority. It’s unfortunate that the quality of Azzurri players is low at the moment, because it is difficult to prioritize Italian signings when they make the squad as a whole remain stagnant or even regress.

      Pjanic is a tricky one indeed. He is an excellent player indeed and 38 million is a fair price for him. However, I cant help but think the overall quality of the league will go down if we take someone like Pjanic. Roma might already be selling Nainngolan, and if they lose Pjanic as well then I will already count them out for a Scudetto challenge next season. When we got 102 points in 2013-14, Chiellini thanked Roma for pushing us quite hard and making it possible. A strong Roma fighting and pushing us hard is better for us I think, rather than we take the players who are making us play better and harder in the first place.

      • Avatar
        BelgianJuventino May 9, 2016 at 8:30 pm

        I am far from convinced about Monto either, but since he would come in for nothing, I dont see much harm in giving him a shot for a season.

        Agreed that Vrsaljko should be the priority though. De Sciglio is nice just because he is versatile and Italian.

        I doubt Pjnaic himself is willing to change to Juve colours in all honesty. I think it would be a good addition, but I doubt the likeliness

        • Avatar
          ADP#10 May 9, 2016 at 9:42 pm

          Even if Montolivo comes in for free, I’d rather someone like Mandragora or Lemina plays instead of him in Marchisio’s absence anyway. So just because he is not costing us anything, he still might affect the development of our young talent, which he has been accused of doing at Milan (remember our game against them last month). I haven’t seen more than 10 minutes of Mandragora, so I can’t comment much about him, but I know for sure that Lemina can be a better player than Monto, and he needs as many opportunities as he can get.

          • Avatar
            BelgianJuventino May 10, 2016 at 7:17 am

            Me too, but do you think such a thing is likely? A youngster with no Serie A experience to replace Marchisio for months? Or Lemina, who has been forced out of the team by injury for months himself?

            Don’t get me wrong, I would prefer this too. Lemina is a gem in the making. But is he ready to replace Claudio so fast? I don’t know, but I do know Allegri is not likely to do it.

            Look at how slowly he worked Dybala in the squad too, or Rugani. Youngsters need time and space to grow into such roles.

            Allegri won’t throw him in just like that. What if Lemina fails under the pressure? When he did play, he was rather good, so we already expect a lot from him. He is still a young player with little experience in the league or CL and we will need someone experienced at least as an option.

            Especially with Hernanes probably leaving and Marchisio out, we already have a rather young midfield. You need a balanced one.

            Only Pogba and Khedira, when fit, are guaranteed starters. Allegri and Juve will want options to tinker with, to give others a breather when they are in need of one.

            I don’t want or like Monto, but he would not be such a bad addition. Experienced, free, same role as Marchisio and an Italian himself too. Has a chance to be “rejuvenated” at Juve.

            It could happen

        • Avatar
          Imad J May 10, 2016 at 4:51 am

          I think the thing you fail to see is Monto may be free, but he’d still take a spot in the squad. So if we’re reinforcing with two midfielders (one as a regista to cover for Marchisio, and one as an AM or Trquartista), this means we are only getting one probably quality midfielder and one very average at best. I dont think we will get Monto plus another two. This I do mind. A team aiming for champions league can’t rely on Monto for half a season.

          • Avatar
            BelgianJuventino May 10, 2016 at 7:10 am

            Who else should we add that would agree to the bench as soon as Marchisio is back though? He has to be good enough to replace Marchisio and at the same time bad enough to know and accept the bench. Which makes a veteran player the best choice.

            While I really do agree Monto is not the one we should go after, nor the one I want at Juve, it is not the worst idea to do so.

            Much depends on what else happens to our fringe midfielders: what happens to Padoin, Sturaro, Hernanes, Asamoah and Pereyra?

            To sell off Hernanes and add Monto in his stead, is that a bad deal? Hernanes was godlike or a demon from hell in the few games he played. We can’t know what Monto would be like yet.

            Assuming Hernanes goes, as it seems likely, and we have to replace Marchisio, we are indeed in need of 2 midfielders. One of those being a veteran who knows the league and has some CL experience is not such a terrible addition.

            More midfielders might be sold though and their places taken up by new players. I don’t know what kind of person Monto is, but if Marotta and Allegri really do want him, I assume they think he would add something to the team.

            Not the one we want, but perhaps better than we expect

          • Avatar
            Imad J May 10, 2016 at 7:27 am

            I think if we need to be more practical, and avoid suffering a blow, we need to count Marchisio out next year. Missing 6 months of the new season with our medical staff of a terrible record means counting on a full fit and effective return of Marchisio next season is a disaster waiting to happen. Look at Chellini, Khedira,Pereyra and Asamoah for example. They all suffered several re-occurring blows when trying to return to full fitness and when we needed them the most. Also take into consideration players like Asamoah and Strootman, they both suffered serious knee injuries and ended up missing much more than it was expected. Why would it be any different with Marchisio? Is lady luck going to have mercy on us.
            This is why we need Marchisio’s replacement to be of a top quality, and not just a gap-fill. We already have that, his name is Hernanes.
            Moreover and the final point. Even if we had a full fit Marchisio, we still need a fourth quality Midfielder because we have a long season, we need rotation and flexibility, and our form drops significantly when our 3 star midfielders do not all participate. Not to mention that Khedira is made of glass..

            But if we are not willing to spend big on a world-class midfielder. I’d go for a mid-solution which would be Matic.

          • Avatar
            BelgianJuventino May 10, 2016 at 10:00 am

            It is perhaps for the best to assume the worst and thus assume Marchisio wont be fit for the whole of next season.

            I dont expect Hernanes will stay though. And perhaps neither will Pereyra, who remains very much Vidal-light to me.

            If we sell Hernanes and add Monto I will call it a good deal.

            But this is all just extra, we need real quality to replace Marchisio and as you say, besides him too.

            Matic might be a good player to pursue but we should go for someone even better too. Gündogan is probably close to impossible, but Gomes and Silva should at least be considered too.

            Anyway, i wont miss either one of Hernanes and Monto at Juve. I prefer Matic and Lemina to play if I could choose then