Mattia Caldara wants to join Juventus “ready” but “right now I’m only thinking about Atalanta”.
The Bianconeri bought the centre-back for €15m plus a potential €10m in bonuses last January, but sent him back to Bergamo until summer 2018.
“My path has been mapped out, but I don’t think about it,” Caldara told Corriere dello Sport.
“I’ll work to improve myself because I want to arrive in Turin ready, it’ll be an important stage in my career and I can’t get it wrong.
“I know my life will change, but I’ve already had two experiences [Trapani and Cesena] outside of Atalanta, and I’m not living with my parents this year in any case so the distance from Bergamo won’t be a problem.
“I’ll have to prove I’m worthy of Juve, but right now I’m focused on Atalanta.
“Andrea Barzagli or Leonardo Bonucci? In recent seasons Barzagli has proven himself to be the most complete centre-back in Serie A.
“As for the comparisons with Bonucci, I like them but that also involves a lot of responsibility, and for the moment it’s too soon to say I’m his heir.
“I have to improve a lot to get to his level.”
Atalanta won their Europa League group, but they’ve been drawn against Borussia Dortmund in the Last 32.
“It will be a fascinating and beautiful challenge. It’s a pleasure to play against opponents of that level, a team that has come down from the Champions League.
“I expect a very difficult game, but we’re proud to have reached this point and we aim to do well. We haven’t been lucky with the draws this year, but we’ll prepare well.
“On paper there’s no doubt they’re favourites, but we know our strength. While respecting our opponents, we’ll have to be a bit more brazen, not let them push us back.
“Marking [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang is stimulating, because he’s really strong. I stayed here at Atalanta to grow, to start testing myself against the best strikers in Europe.
“That’ll help me next year.”