Pep Guardiola Discusses Miralem Pjanic Rumours, Latest on Barcelona Links

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistJuly 24, 2018

Juventus' Miralem Pjanic, right, is challenged by Roma's Daniele De Rossi during a Serie A soccer match between Roma and Juventus, at the Rome Olympic stadium, Sunday, May 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
Gregorio Borgia/Associated Press

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has ruled out a move for Juventus midfielder Miralem Pjanic, while the Catalan press have reported his agent is trying to set up a meeting with Barcelona.

As shared by ESPN FC's Jonathan Smith, Guardiola rubbished reports his team is looking at the Bosnian during a press conference:

Jonathan Smith @jonnysmiffy

Pep Guardiola confirms that there is no interest in Pjanic from Juventus.

In a separate report, Catalan newspaper Sport stated Barcelona could once again try their luck for the Juventus man, even suggesting "all signs" point to a summer exit.

The report also touched on City's supposed interest, suggesting the Skye Blues were at one point in for the former Roma man but have since dropped out of the race.

While the Catalans are convinced Pjanic will leave the club this summer, the Italian press disagrees. Per Gianluca Di Marzio, the 28-year-old wants to sign a new contract with the Bianconeri, and the club wants the same thing. 

Paul White/Associated Press

Per Sport, a bid of €100 million or more could tempt Juventus to cash in, freeing up funds to chase other players. The Italian champions already have numerous options in central midfield, although none have the passing range of their star playmaker.

Indeed, fans are anxious to keep him in Turin:

Arjun Pradeep @IndianRegista

Retaining @Miralem_Pjanic is a priority. He is one of the most important players in the team. He would be very difficult to replace considering that he is among the best players in his position, certainly the best midfielder in Serie-A. Resta con noi, Mira ♥️ 🙏 https://t.co/ZfNSogubia

Pjanic only joined the club in 2016 but quickly became Juventus' most influential midfielder thanks to his ability to distribute play. He's also their top set-piece taker, although he'll likely see his chances to take free-kicks decline now that Cristiano Ronaldo has signed.

It would be hard for Juventus to replace a player with such a specific skill set, but if the offer is substantial enough, they might bite. The Old Lady has to balance the books after the Ronaldo deal, although there are other players who are still far more likely to be sold.

A contract extension still seems the most probable outcome, but this saga appears to be far from over.