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Sarri hopes Pjanic will stay at Juventus beyond August despite Barca links

  /  autty

Juventus boss Maurizio Sarri is happy for Gonzalo Higuain, calls Douglas Costa an ‘extraordinary weapon’ and hopes Miralem Pjanic will stay ‘beyond August’.

Juve took a while to get going against Lecce on Friday night, not scoring any of their goals in the 4-0 win until the 53rd minute.

“I saw a game that was most painful in a physical sense,” Sarri said after the game.

“We struggled for fuel, even if we kept plugging away. Playing every three days, it can happen that we’re unable to get going right away in the best possible way.

“The important thing is to focus on ourselves with the mentality we showed tonight. We’re only thinking about ourselves.”

Higuain scored in his first appearance since the restart and after a tough time for him personally, having tended to his sick mother at the peak of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Higuain’s had a difficult time in his personal life. COVID is something that hit him hard. Now he’s recovering and I’m glad he rediscovered himself.

“He’ll certainly give us a lot in the final part of the season. The central defenders also had a great game, practically defending on the halfway line.

“The midfielders struggled physically. Pjanic improved as the game went on and Rabiot coming off was a tactical decision.”

The coach also reserved special praise for Costa, whose introduction coincided with the Bianconeri’s change in fortunes.

“He’s an extraordinary weapon for this time of the season, when teams are most at risk of dropping off in the second half.

“He can change a game with his introduction. Let’s not tell him that...

“He understands, but we have to keep him motivated and start him every now and then.”

Pjanic may have played his last match before confirmation of his move to Barcelona in exchange for Arthur, so what does Sarri think?

“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.

“Miralem’s a professional, he understands situations quickly. I don’t know anything at the moment, but I’m not worried.”