Juventus are about to start the 2019-20 season with yet another record in their sights, a ninth Serie A title in a row, a feat almost unheard of in modern football.
It has been an eventful summer, with the doors at Vinovo seeing a number of incoming and outgoing players and managers, but all that talk is about to come to an end with the calcio season about to begin. For Juve, this starts at Parma tomorrow, but in keeping with the last few months of upheaval and turmoil, the latest issue will not come as a surprise to the Bianconeri.
New manager Maurizio Sarri will miss the next couple of weeks or so with pneumonia, and club legend and vice-president Pavel Nedeved will be stepping in to handle the media duties for him.
Speaking today ahead of the trip to Il Tardini, Nedved insisted that despite all the changes the goals for the club remain exactly the same.
“Juventus want to win again this season.
“We’ve changed a lot, but it’s not a year of transition. Sarri’s doing a great job, he’ll come back after the international break. We’re very happy, the team are following his command.
“I won’t focus on just our attack but rather the whole team. There’s a lot of competition, but everyone has to be professional.”
The transfer market is still open which is a big relief because Juve are still carrying a number of veteran players on large wages, but Nedved refused to get drawn into a comment about the mercato.
“I won’t comment on the market. That’s for Fabio Paratici, who’s been doing great things. Not only did he bring in Merih Demiral and Danilo, but he also conducted big sales like those of Joao Cancelo and Moise Kean.
“The market hasn’t closed yet and we’ll seize any opportunities that arise, but we mustn’t give up. Our accounts are fine as they are.
“If we need to do something we will, otherwise we’ll remain as we are. I won’t talk about players at other teams.
“I’d prefer the market to be closed, but I’ll only say that we’re ready to seize the right opportunities.”
Nedved was also asked about Inter Milan, who have beefed up in the administrative department by adding Antonio Conte and Beppe Marotta from Juve.
“Obviously it’s made a bit of an impression. Antonio made Juventus history by winning trophies here as a player and a Coach.
“We know how good he is and the same goes for Marotta. We know we have strong opponents who want to win right away.”
The Bianconeri appear to have been actively shopping out Paulo Dybala, while question marks remain over Gonzalo Higuain.
“Dybala can never be a problem for us. He’s a great player and we’re happy to have him. The Coach is using him as a false nine he’s and doing very well.
“Higuain’s one of the two or three best strikers in the world. We’re happy that he’s with us, plus he had a very good preseason.”
Any press conference nowadays, no matter what time of the season, is never complete without a mention of the ‘Big Ears’, but Nedved’s refrain sounded no different than what Massimiliano Allegri said a number of times last season.
“We’ll aim to win everything, of course, but we have no preferences with regards to competition. The Champions League is an objective, but it’s not an obsession.
“I believe we have one of the best squads in Europe.”