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Miralem Pjanic: “I never thought about leaving Juventus”

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Miralem Pjanic revealed it didn’t even cross his mind once to leave Juventus as he prepares to enjoy a bigger role under new manager Maurizio Sarri.

Pjanic’s Juventus future had been thrown into doubt last season after confessing that he wasn’t sure if the club would keep him following their Champions League quarter-final exit to Ajax.

Hopes were initially high in Turin when Pjanic completed a €32m transfer from Serie A rivals AS Roma. Many felt the 29-year-old’s vision and creativity made him the perfect replacement for the legendary Andrea Pirlo, who left a year earlier.

But the Bosnian playmaker sometimes struggled to unleash the full extent his creativity under Massimiliano Allegri, who tended to prioritise results before anything else.

This had led reports to link the former Lyon star with a return to France in Paris Saint-Germain. Pjanic even admitted that he would listen if the Ligue 1 champions came calling for him.

However, things are looking good for Pjanic at Juventus following the arrival of Sarri as Allegri’s replacement.

The Italian coach, who is renown for deploying an attractive brand of attacking football, outlined plans to see Pjanic make 150 passes per game.

And it appears Sarri’s ideas have won over the Bosnia international, who now hopes to play a big role in Juventus’ pursuit of Champions League glory next season.

“Given his football, my position is important,” Pjanic told La Stampa.

“It’s my objective to touch the ball 150 times a game, but it doesn’t matter if it’s 120 or 150: what matters is playing well, freeing up teammates and expressing a style of play that’s nice on the eye, quick and on the deck.

“We’ll have fun with this team. I never thought about leaving Juventus. I had an incredible relationship with Allegri and we laughed about [the speculation].

“I’m very happy in Turin, I have fantastic players around me, I want to get even better and I want to help my new teammates.

“My dream is to win the Champions League, this year and all the other years I’ll be here.”

Pjanic has managed 19 goals and 36 assists in 135 appearances for Juventus across all competitions.

The three-time Serie A winner is under contract in Turin until June 2023.

NAPLES, ITALY – MARCH 03: Players of Juventus celebrate the 0-1 goal scored by Miralem Pjanic during the Serie A match between SSC Napoli and Juventus at Stadio San Paolo on March 3, 2019 in Naples, Italy. (Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images)