Juventus must challenge for Champions League with Pogba and Di Maria – Zambrotta

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Juventus must challenge for both the Champions League and Serie A crowns this coming season after recruiting Paul Pogba and Angel Di Maria.

That is according to Juve and Italy great Gianluca Zambrotta, who also told Stats Perform he expects Inter to be a stronger force with Romelu Lukaku back at the club.

Juve confirmed the signing of former Paris Saint-Germain forward Di Maria on Friday, with fellow free agent Pogba also set to join following his departure from Manchester United.

Pogba knows the Turin giants well having already spent four seasons at the Allianz Stadium, winning the Scudetto in each of those and making 178 appearances in total.

Fellow former United player Di Maria is playing in Italy for the first time, meanwhile, with this the Argentina international's sixth different club in as many countries.

And having brought in players boasting plenty of pedigree, Zambrotta says challenging for Serie A alone – after back-to-back fourth-place finishes – will not be enough for Juve.

"Juventus will certainly have to play a different championship because they must return to be competitive not only in Italy but also in Europe," he said.

"And they have to do that right away and not just a little bit because they cannot think to wait any more."

Paul Pogba played 226 games for Manchester United in his second spell at the club
Paul Pogba played 226 games for Manchester United in his second spell at the club

Pogba and Di Maria join a squad already boasting the likes of January recruit Dusan Vlahovic and winger Federico Chiesa, who is closing in on a return from a long-term lay-off.

That will be a welcome headache for Massimiliano Allegri, while fierce rivals Inter must also find a way to slot Lukaku back into the side following his return on loan from Chelsea.

"Juve could play with Di Maria on one side, Chiesa on the other side and Vlahovic in the middle," said 2006 World Cup winner Zambrotta, who spent seven years with Juve.

"It is clear that it becomes an important attack, very, very technical and very dynamic on the wings.

"At Inter, Lukaku is a player who [Simone] Inzaghi did not want to leave anyway, then he left but Inter did very well anyway.

"So he is a player who certainly can be important for Inter and that the coach clearly values, and he will certainly do well paired with Lautaro Martinez.

"Then there are many attackers who are possibly leaving. Nobody knows who will come out and who will arrive again. But Lukaku and Martinez are already well tested."

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