Pirlo says Suarez unlikely to join Juventus from Barca

Juventus coach Andrea Pirlo says his side needed a centre-forward but that there was not enough time for Luis Suarez to obtain an Italian passport.

Luis Suarez

Since Juventus has already used up its limit of two non-EU signings, Luis Suarez will be able to join the Serie A champion only if he obtains an EU passport.   -  Reuters

Juventus is unlikely to sign Barcelona and Uruguay forward Luis Suarez after all, coach Andrea Pirlo said Saturday as he prepared for the start of the new Serie A season.

Pirlo, who replaced Maurizio Sarri last month despite having no senior coaching experience, will make his debut at home to Sampdoria on Sunday. He said that Juventus needed a centre-forward but that there was not enough time for Suarez to obtain an Italian passport.

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Juventus has already used up its limit of two non-EU signings following the arrival of Brazilian midfielder Arthur and US international Weston McKinnie and would only be able to add Suarez if he can obtain an EU passport.

“We're all waiting for a centre forward. There is still a long way to go in the transfer window so we're calm and happy, we're not in a hurry,” said Pirlo.

“Suarez is difficult because it takes a long time to get the passport, so it's unlikely that it could be him,” he added.

Although Suarez is eligible for Italian naturalisation as his wife is a citizen of the country, the process usually takes several years - a detail overlooked in much of the speculation linking him to the Serie A champion over the last month.

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Pirlo said that Cristiano Ronaldo and Dejan Kulusevski would share the role against Sampdoria.

“Neither Kulusevski nor Ronaldo will start in the classic centre forward position, they will try to move according to what the other does,” said Pirlo. “There will be rotations to allow as many people as possible to arrive in the area,” he added.

The 41-year-old said he was relaxed ahead of the new season where he will be expected, at the minimum, to bring Juventus a tenth successive Serie A title.

“After a month of Juve I have no doubts, but many certainties. I have fitted in well, now the pitch will do the talking,” he said.

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