Midfielder Matuidi admits wishing to join Juventus

Paris, Sep 4 (IANS) French midfielder Blaise Matuidi has admitted that he wanted to join Italian football champions Juventus this summer, but he is not unhappy staying on at Paris Saint-Germain (PSG).

Juventus were linked with a move for the France midfielder as a replacement for his international teammate Paul Pogba, who joined Manchester United for a world-record transfer fee of 105 million euros (($117.2 million).

The 29-year-old Matuidi came very close to joining the ranks of the Turin-based powerhouse this summer, but the French club blocked the move.

“There was a concrete offer. Yes, at a certain point I wished to leave. The club decided otherwise, and we had to accept that,” the Matuidi told LeParisien on Sunday.

Matuidi, who has fallen behind the pecking order at PSG, revealed that he had a fruitful discussion with new coach Unai Emery, who replaced Laurent Blanc.

“I know that there’s a lot of faith placed in me. We had some very long discussions with the coach. His input mattered a lot for the club when they made their decision,” Matuidi, who has been playing for PSG since 2011, said.

“It’s true that this was a bit of a delicate period, because I had a wish and it wasn’t fulfilled. But I am not unhappy at PSG, not by a long stretch. I’m very happy.”

Matuidi must now try to impress the Spaniard Emery sufficiently to win his starting role back ahead of the likes of Thiago Motta, Marco Verratti, Adrien Rabiot, Grzegorz Krychowiak, Christopher Nkunku and Lorenzo Callegari, as well as Javier Pastore who can move into central midfield when asked.

–IANS

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