Juventus director Fabio Paratici insists there is a ‘very good rapport’ with Paulo Dybala, while Andrea Pirlo ‘understands’ Cristiano Ronaldo and Weston McKennie is learning quickly.
The Champions League tie with Ferencvaros kicks off at 20.00 GMT, click here for the line-ups and LIVEBLOG.
This is the first time under coach Andrea Pirlo that Dybala and Cristiano Ronaldo have started together, so is this a sign towards his contract extension?
“We have a very good rapport with Dybala, we’re talking about the renewal daily and weekly,” Paratici told Sky Sport Italia.
Are Juventus trying to save money not just on salaries, but also with transfer fees, such as Alvaro Morata from Atletico Madrid?
“Morata arrived on loan with option to buy, a transfer formula we used several times this summer, as did other clubs, because it’s a moment where there are financial difficulties for clubs.
Paratici was asked if Juventus would rather Barcelona win or draw and qualify for the Round of 16 tonight, or Barca lost to Dynamo Kiev and hope to catch them at the top of the table?
“We want to play tonight’s game at the maximum of our capabilities and then after the final whistle we’ll see the other results. That’s what we choose.”
Pirlo was spotted talking to Ronaldo during the warm-up, almost like an assistant manager.
“Champions understand each other. Andrea has a very good rapport with all the players, but naturally he’s closer in age and experience to Ronaldo, so they understand each other very well.”
Weston McKennie is in the starting XI and seems to have settled quickly at Juventus.
“McKennie is a very intelligent and outgoing guy who has been in Europe for some time, so is already accustomed to a certain environment. We have great expectations for him, as he’s already at a good level, but has huge margins for improvement and in Italy we are good at helping to improve and complete foreign players. We work on everything from tactics to individual work and how to experience football every single day. In those elements, Italy I think is the best in the world.
“Of course, it’s a two-way thing, and we also need players who are open to learning all these things. You need a good Professor and a good student, otherwise it’s tougher.”