Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri has confirmed that Marko Pjaca is set to leave the Serie A club on loan this winter, with Schalke reportedly leading the chase for his services.
Croatia attacking midfielder Pjaca has been blighted by injury since moving to Turin from Dinamo Zagreb in 2016, making just 20 appearances for the Bianconeri and starting only three games in Serie A.
A knee injury sidelined him for much of 2017, and Allegri said he cannot offer the 22-year-old the regular game time he needs at Juve given the other options at his disposal.
“I don’t need any more players — I would just risk getting even more confused,” Allegri said at a news conference in Turin ahead of his side’s Coppa Italia quarterfinal against Torino.
“Pjaca is not getting much of a game so he is going to leave on loan so that he will come back to us stronger than before.”
With Miralem Pjanic, Sami Khedira, Blaise Matuidi, Claudio Marchisio, Federico Bernardeschi, Douglas Costa, Juan Cuadrado and Kwadwo Asamoah all ahead of him in the pecking order, Pjaca is unlikely to find much room in the second half of the season since recovering from his latest injury.
Schalke, who loaned Benedikt Howedes to Juve in the summer, are reportedly leading the chase for his services, ahead of Bundesliga rivals Wolfsburg.
However, Schalke sporting director Axel Schuster refused to confirm a deal with Juve was imminent, despite reports that Pjaca could join the Royal Blues in their Benidorm training camp on Wednesday.
“We’ve made enquiries about many players, but there are some players we are closer to than others,” he told kicker.
Pjaca will be seeking regular first-team football to boost his chances of being called up for the World Cup in the summer.
Ben Gladwell reports on Serie A, the Italian national team and the Bundesliga for ESPN FC, UEFA and the Press Association. @UEFAcomBenG.