Clubs, Emre Can, French Ligue 1, Juventus, Mario Balotelli, Story, Transfers

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Juventus’ general manager Beppe Marotta had said speculation linking the club with a move for Mario Balotelli is “mere fabrication,” while admitting a deal for Liverpool midfielder Emre Can is going to be difficult.

Balotelli, 27, has scored 35 goals in 51 appearances for Nice over the past two seasons and was linked with a move to Turin at the weekend. However, the Italian won’t be heading back to Serie A just yet.

“We have a lot of esteem and affection for Balotelli, but everything else is merely fantasy football — it’s entirely fabricated,” Marotta told Premium Sport before Juventus’ match against Genoa on Monday. “He is not the type of player that this Juventus needs.”

Marotta also restated his desire to sign Emre Can, admitting that Juventus face fierce competition for the Liverpool midfielder as he is available on a free transfer in the summer.

“Our desire to sign Emre Can is crystal clear — but he plays for Liverpool and might renew with them, or sign for a different club,” he said.

“We want to try and bring him to Turin. I am stating this with full awareness that he might not arrive, but we need to have important [market] objectives.”

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