Roma director Mauro Baldissoni has revealed that midfielder Miralem Pjanic asked for his €38m release clause to be activated to push through a move to Juventus.
Conflicting reports have emerged over the past 48 hours, with suggestions that Roma were perhaps behind the movement in the deal which will see Pjanic swap the Italian capital for Turin in the next week or so.
However, Baldissoni reacted angrily to those suggestions and moved to clear the air in an interview on Radio Roma, as reported by Il Messaggero.
“I spoke to the lad this morning and he said he never wrote anything of the sort. I told him to defend himself and be careful, but above all we need to change the way things work in this city.
“It’s ridiculous that we have to come here and read out official contracts and documentation to deny things that are not true.”
The Roma official then went on to read out a formal statement from Pjanic which was written on Thursday, and it confirmed that the player is looking to move on and join Juve.
“With this note I inform you that I intend to activate my right to be transferred to another club, as agreed beforehand,” read the statement.
“I also tell you my intention to send the 20 per cent of my share of the transfer fee directly to the club that will buy my contract, which I specifically inform you is Juventus.
“I thank you and urge you to make contact to finalise the necessary contractual formalities.”
It was a key move from the club’s perspective, as they came under criticism from supporters as they look set to lose one of the key pieces of their squad.
While that will certainly allay some of the anger heading in their direction, it certainly won’t overcome the disappointment that will be felt at the Stadio Olimpico given that Pjanic has formed a crucial part of their success in recent times and his move to a direct rival is a huge blow.
From Juve’s perspective, they continue to build an incredibly strong squad that looks set to continue to dominate domestically and will naturally hope to be a threat in the Champions League next season.
Massimiliano Allegri will have a wealth of options at his disposal in midfield, and while we await official confirmation of Pjanic’s move to Turin, it remains to be seen how he fits in.