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Fabio Paratici Says Juventus Won't Enter January Market Amid Paul Pogba Rumours

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistDecember 12, 2019

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 30: Paul Pogba of Manchester United reacts during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Arsenal FC at Old Trafford on September 30, 2019 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Juventus sporting director Fabio Paratici has distanced the club from rumours suggesting they'll re-sign Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba during the January transfer window.

Pogba, 26, has played on six occasions this season after he was sidelined in September with an ankle injury, leading to increased speculation the Frenchman is attempting to leave the club a second time.

Paratici told Sky Sports Italia (h/t Calciomercato.com): "As I have already said several times, we have a very competitive and complete squad. We have Emre Can and we have (Sami) Khedira who will come back, so we have no intention of operating on the market."

Pogba joined Juventus in 2012 after he left the Red Devils on a free transfer, going on to make 178 appearances for the Bianconeri before he moved back to United for a club-record £89 million in 2016.

The 2018 FIFA World Cup winner's future at Old Trafford was thrown into doubt when he said during the last transfer window that he was open to "a new challenge," via Sky Sports:

Sky Sports Premier League @SkySportsPL

🗣 - "I think for me it could be a good time to have a new challenge somewhere else." Paul Pogba has admitted he is thinking of leaving Manchester United for a new challenge this summer, with Juventus and Real Madrid interested in the midfielder: https://t.co/V3E3rnYFQT https://t.co/kI9fgDLz7z

A tough season for United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been further complicated by Pogba's injury absence, though the player failed to show his best in the few appearances he has made this season.

The Frenchman contributed two assists in the 4-0 season-opening win over Chelsea, but he hasn't been involved in a goal since then. Not only that, but football writer Daniel Storey told the Totally Football Show his display against Chelsea—save for those two pieces of ingenuity—was poor:

TotallyFootballShow @TheTotallyShow

Manchester United started the season by thrashing Chelsea, but their midfield - Paul Pogba especially - is still a problem. @danielstorey85 said on Monday's podcast that they have to solve that quickly. https://t.co/WTxKz160iH https://t.co/OR5dj57rxN

Midfield has emerged as an area of slight concern for Juve, who are two points behind Serie A leaders Inter Milan in their quest to win a ninth consecutive Scudetto this season.

Miralem Pjanic, Aaron Ramsey and Adrien Rabiot are all accomplished creative midfielders, while Rodrigo Bentancur, Blaise Matuidi, Can and Khedira are each more accustomed to anchoring roles.

Pogba could be considered as the conduit to link both sides of the engine room as he did during his previous four-year stay, during which he scored 34 goals and recorded 40 assists, via Goal:

Goal @goal

On this day in 2012, Paul Pogba scored his first goal for Juventus ⚫️⚪️ https://t.co/WfxAs2oO7P

The €100 million signing of Cristiano Ronaldo last year was a message that Juventus are ready to compete for the most wanted players.

Convincing United to sell Pogba mid-season seems unlikely even in his current form, but Juventus may be keen to push hard for a deal to boost their hopes of major silverware this season.