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From Italy: Pep Guardiola makes phone call to Serie A star ahead of potential €80m deal

Pep Guardiola has personally made a phone call to Juventus superstar Miralem Pjanić in recent days, the famous Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport claims.

Though City are firmly denying there is any interest in Bosnian international Pjanić, or Bayern Munich’s Thiago Alcântara for that matter, they are not letting it go in Italy with even Gianluca Di Marzio, considered to be Europe’s leading transfer guru, stating last night that the player’s representative has an offer from City.

Once again, City are named alongside Chelsea and Barcelona as the clubs who want to sign 28-year-old Pjanić in one of the feature pieces of today’s edition of Gazzetta.

It is reported that Guardiola called Pjanić on the phone, and that is a testament to just how highly he rates the midfield technician, who on paper would be an ideal alternative to Chelsea new boy Jorginho.

Chelsea themselves like Pjanić with new boss Maurizio Sarri having told Roman Abramovich: “Even after the arrival of Jorginho, I need more quality in the middle of the pitch.”

And then there is Barcelona, who are looking to reinforce their midfield with one big signing. Along with Pjanić, Frenkie de Jong of Ajax, PSG’s Adrien Rabiot, and former player Thiago Alcântara are being linked. Gazzetta suggests that were Juve to indeed sell Pjanić, they would go for Rabiot as his replacement.

Signing Pjanić will be no easy feat for any of the interested suitors, however. Juventus’ intention has always been to keep him and give him a new contract, but the club’s policy is always not to keep a player against his own will.

Pjanić has yet to give any real sign that he actually wants to leave, and a cynical mind might believe these links to City, Barcelona and Chelsea have been manufactured by his new representative Fali Ramadani, to get the player a better deal in Turin.

If Juventus do receive an offer upward of €80million (£71.6million) though, it is believed the Old Lady’s stance could change and Pjanić might be sold. Having refused to go over a much lower amount for Jorginho, it remains to be seen if Txiki Begiristain would be willing to bid anywhere near that figure – even if City’s interest is concrete.

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