Maurizio Sarri has emphatically dismissed rumours of a row with Miralem Pjanic as Juventus prepare to resume their Serie A campaign.
A story in the Italian media claimed the Juve boss had a disagreement with the midfielder – who has been heavily linked with Barcelona – during a training session ahead of the game against Bologna on Monday.
However, Sarri made clear on Sunday that there has been no clash between the pair, revealing he has a good relationship with Pjanic and branding the report fake news.
The 30-year-old was allegedly set to be dropped but Juve are lacking options in midfield; Aaron Ramsey is still not ready to play 90 minutes, according to his coach, while Sami Khedira is sidelined.
“The story of my quarrel with Pjanic is one of the biggest hoaxes of the season,” Sarri told Sky Sport in Italy.
“I talk a lot with Miralem, maybe he is one of the guys with whom I have more discussions and a better relationship. Pjanic has done the same as the team in these last two games – made a good start and then subsequently dropped off.
“For tomorrow’s game, let’s see how he is and then we’ll decide.
“Of course we don’t have many other solutions in that role at the moment. Ramsey is more likely to play in part of the game, rather than for 90 minutes.”
Juve have played twice already since the action restarted in Italy following the suspension of the season due to the coronavirus pandemic.
They drew at home with Milan to progress in the Coppa Italia, only to lose on penalties to Napoli in Wednesday’s final in Rome.
Now their focus switches back to the league, Sarri’s table-topping squad holding a one-point lead over Lazio as they bid to be crowned champions for a ninth straight season.
“The first games are the most dangerous, because there are no certainties about the teams’ responses,” Sarri said ahead of the trip to opponents who sit in 10th place.
“Bologna are doing very well, playing good football. We have to hold them in high regard, play a shrewd game and hope to go up a level.”