SERIE A

Juventus: Sarri not sure if Barcelona target Pjanic will stay

Miralem Pjanic's future at Juve remains unclear and coach Maurizio Sarri admitted that he is none the wiser regarding reports the player is set to join Barcelona.

I don't know if Pjanic will stay - Juve boss Sarri unconcerned by transfer rumours

Maurizio Sarri admits that he doesn't know whether Miralem Pjanic will stay on at Juventus beyond the end of the season but insists he is not overly concerned by reports over the midfielder's future. Pjanic played 90 minutes as the Bianconeri overran 10-man Lecce 4-0 in Friday's Serie A match to open up a seven-point lead over scudetto challengers Lazio.

Pjanic's future has been the topic of much debate amid reports he is headed to Barcelona in a swap deal that will see Arthur move to Turin. Sarri spoke before the game to say he has had no update on such a deal and continued to follow a similar party line when speaking to Sky Sport Italy following the win.

Pjantic will still be at Juventus until the end of August at least

"I don't know if Pjanic will no longer play with Juventus , I have not received any communication," the Juve coach said.  "These are not things that interest us, the market only starts in September. Miralem's a professional, he understands situations quickly.  I don't know anything at the moment, but I'm not worried." Sarri went on to add: "He'll be with us until the end of August. I hope he'll stay with us even beyond that, but these are decisions that will be made at a later stage."

Second half resurgence

Juve were slow off the mark against Lecce and the game remained 0-0 until half-time despite a straight red card for Fabio Lucioni. But the floodgates opened in the second half, Cristiano Ronaldo teeing up Paulo Dybala to score a brilliant opener before doubling the lead from the penalty spot. Ronaldo played a hand in Gonzalo Higuaín's strike, with Matthijs de Ligt rounding off the rout.

Sarri was particularly happy for Higuaín given how the coronavirus crisis has affected the Argentine striker, an issue he had spoken about pre-game. "He had a difficult time on a personal and global level, because the coronavirus emergency hit him a lot and left a mark on him," he explained.  "He has returned, had a minor injury and is now getting back into shape. I am happy that he scored immediately, he is a player who will give us a lot in this season finale."