Wednesday June 12 2013
Pepe: Juventus then Italy…

Simone Pepe is hoping to catch the eye of Italy boss Cesare Prandelli once he returns to action with Juventus in the new season.

The 29-year-old had an injury-hit last campaign which saw him play just one game for the club – for a total of 26 minutes in Serie A.

“It’s very difficult to regain muscle tone,” he told Sky Sport Italia. “So far I have only got 60 per cent back, but everything is going well.

“An agreement has been reached with the Coach and the club about my recovery. I’m on holiday at the moment, but with the physiotherapist in tow.

“I shall return to Turin a week before the rest of my teammates and I’ll meet with Coach Antonio Conte before leaving for pre-season with the rest of the squad.

“I hope to be back training with the team as early as July and then be fully available in August.

“The goal is to get back into action as soon as possible. And, if I play at my levels, I think that Prandelli could call me up again as he did in the past.”

The former Udinese man, capped 23 times by his country, has been missed in Turin as he allows Conte to field a 4-3-3 system when he’s available for selection.

“I never had any doubts about the possibility of returning to play as I know and as I have always done,” the wide attacker added.

Pepe is also convinced that he’ll be part of a reinforced side who will be challenging for the Champions League in 2013-14.

“New signings? We have a strong team and we have shown that in the last two years,” Pepe continued. “Then if someone new arrives they will be welcomed by the squad. We have to just let the directors work in peace.

“We had a go at the Champions League this season, but there were teams like Bayern Munich who proved to be stronger than us. We’ll try again next term.”