Monday December 13 2010
Marotta plays down Buffon row

Juventus director general Beppe Marotta has played down talk of a rift between Luigi Del Neri and Gianluigi Buffon.

Del Neri told reporters yesterday that he no longer considered Buffon an indispensable member of team, insisting that the collective is more important to him than the individual.

Buffon's agent Silvano Martina reacted angrily to Del Neri's comments, recommending that the club fine him for a lack of respect.

Interviewed on Sky Italia, Marotta said: "The important thing is not to manipulate Del Neri's words. There wasn't any lack of respect.

"He said that the players who are doing the best will be the ones on the pitch and it's an opinion I fully share. Gigi is a real champion, a player who is in a phase of rehabilitation and who needs the necessary time to return to the pitch.

"The squad that we have available to us allows us to let him recover calmly and in the meantime we can put Marco Storari on the pitch. He is a valid alternative and a player who is honouring the colours that he wears."

Turning his attention to the January transfer window, Marotta said: "We will not make important investments. The players who arrive will have to improve the team, otherwise we'll stay the way we are.

"Let's remember that we have the most prolific attack and a more than good central midfield. We definitely don't have to buy.

"The players who are in this team must feel integrated with the group. This argument is pertinent to Momo Sissoko. If he is happy to stay at this club we are more than prepared to keep him, otherwise we will sell.

"Sissoko has never expressed a desire to leave and it doesn't seem to me like there are any offers from other clubs."

Finally, Marotta responded to claims that Juventus are interested in signing Alberto Gilardino from Fiorentina.

"He is a Fiorentina player, a club that deserves the utmost respect. Gila is one of the most important strikers in the Italian League.

"The reports claiming the exchange of Amauri for Gilardino is imminent are unfounded."

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