'That's fake news!' - Juve boss Sarri denies training row with Pjanic ahead of Bologna clash


Juventus boss Maurizio Sarri has denied being involved in a training row with Miralem Pjanic ahead of a meeting with Bologna on Sunday, dismissing the widespread reports as "fake news".

Juve are currently preparing for their first Serie A fixture in over three months, which comes just four days after a heartbreaking defeat in the Coppa Italia final.

Sarri's men were beaten on penalties by Napoli in the showpiece event, and will be looking to bounce back strongly when they take in a trip to Stadio Renato Dall'Ara this weekend.

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The Bianconeri were one point clear of Lazio at the top of the standings before the coronavirus enforced-break in the season, with a ninth successive Scudetto well within their grasp.

However, reports of friction between Sarri and Pjanic on the training pitch have been swirling with less than 24 hours to go until Juve get their top-flight season back underway.

It had been suggested that Bosnian playmaker would be dropped for the Bologna clash, but the Italian head coach has rejected any notion of a rift.

Sarri told a pre-match press conference: "A row with him during the training session? That's fake news. He's one of the players I fielded the most this season and I have to rely on him, because he has a decisive role in the three-man midfield."

One man who will almost certainly retain a place in Sarri's line up is five-time Ballon d'Or winner Ronaldo, despite his ineffectual performance against Napoli in midweek.

The Juve manager has revealed that he plans to move the Portuguese back out to his favourite position on the left after watching him struggle as a decoy centre-forward in the Coppa Italia.

Sarri said of Ronaldo's preferred role: "I talked to him before Milan. I talked to him before the Coppa Italia final against Napoli. And again yesterday I talked to him alone for a long time.

"He is a player who scored 700 goals by starting from the left side, it is clear that his preference is that."

The 61-year-old tactician also reflected on Juve's second final defeat of the season, urging his players to put the "disappointment" behind them quickly with plenty more to play for over the final weeks of the campaign.

Sarri added: "Losing a trophy is always painful, it hurts, it gives disappointment and bitterness, but this is the situation and we mustn't beat ourselves up. We have to turn the page and we have to think about our next goals."

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