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Juventus Star Still Undecided Over His Future As Banned Midfielder Prepares To Make A Return

Written By Onyeka Daniel

Despite playing a disappointing 1-1 draw against Salernitana over the weekend, Juventus managed to secure their place in next season’s UEFA Champions League competition with two League games to spare, thereby sealing one of their season objectives.

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But the club is still sweating over the future of one of their key players for next season. French midfielder, Adrien Rabiot has once again kept the call about his future close to the chest as the expiration date of his contract is quickly approaching. The player was quizzed by Sky after the draw at the Allianz Stadium.


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“I said that I wouldn’t speak with the management as long as we’re still chasing some objectives. We’ll see after the Coppa Italia final. As I always stated, I’m happy. I wore the captain’s armband today. It’s a source of pride to be here and lead this team and these youngsters. Then, at some point, you have to sit down and talk in football.

“There’ll be some things to settle, but we’ll see after Wednesday. We’re serene. We have time.” Juventus will soon have to decide whether to match the salary demands by Rabiot. Instead, Paul Pogba’s rescission is pretty much certain following his four-year ban for doping charges. The midfielder is preparing his defense to the CAS.

He has been making the league minimum since he was suspended.The Bianconeri plan to rebuild their midfield this summer. The first step toward that will be the return of Nicolò Fagioli, who’ll be available for the next game since his disqualification ends on May 19th. They’ll face Bologna next Monday.

The player handed himself in to the authorities after realising he had a gambling addiction and that he needed help. Fagioli was handed a 12-month ban on October 17, 2023, reduced to seven months with the inclusion of a course of treatment for the addiction.

As it was only activated from October 19, it means it will expire on May 19. The Serie A Week 37 fixture list has already been confirmed with Juventus facing Bologna on May 20. That means coach Max Allegri has the ability to call Fagioli up for the match on the youngster’s return to football.

During his ban, Fagioli has been regularly training with his Juventus teammates.Another part of his treatment and punishment involved holding several talks with young players to show them the dangers of gambling addiction.

Meanwhile…

There are reports that Antonio Conte is back at the top of the list of potential new Napoli coaches, ahead of Stefano Pioli, Vincenzo Italiano and Gian Piero Gasperini. The Partenopei are in crisis and the 2-0 home defeat to Bologna over the weekend means even qualifying for the Conference League is going to be a struggle.

The squad has to be rebuilt and this is influencing the decisions made by President Aurelio De Laurentiis. He had originally tried to tempt Conte out of his Sabbatical in January, to no avail, and there were suggestions in recent months that the former Inter, Juventus and Tottenham Hotspur boss had fallen down the pecking order due to his salary demands.

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Now Sportitalia transfer expert Alfredo Pedullà insists that the situation is changing, because Conte is climbing back up the ranks for his ability to whip a sluggish and mentally weak squad into shape. Gasperini would be the ideal for De Laurentiis, but seems unlikely to leave Atalanta after they reached the Europa League and Coppa Italia Finals.

Pioli and Italiano remain alternatives, as they are set to leave Milan and Fiorentina respectively this summer. However, the report claim Conte is open to joining Napoli, so it is ultimately down to whether De Laurentiis wants to commit so much money to both his €7m per season plus bonuses salary and the inevitable cost of reconstruction of the team.

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