Andrea Pirlo felt Juventus did not have enough leaders who could "understand the moment" as they threw away two points at Hellas Verona in Serie A action on Saturday.

Defending Serie A champions Juve were heading for a second victory of the week after Cristiano Ronaldo netted early for the visitors in the second half.

But Antonin Barak's header 13 minutes from time rescued a point for Verona, who might then have snatched victory during the closing stages as Wojciech Szczesny saved smartly from influential substitute Darko Lazovic.

Juve head coach Pirlo was disappointed with the way the Bianconeri slipped up from a position of strength, having been made to work hard for their lead against a side they have failed to beat in three attempts.

"We're sorry because we knew it was going to be a difficult, dirty game," Pirlo told DAZN.

"We had interpreted it well. We were also able to take the lead, which was the hardest thing, but then we couldn't keep the result.

"We lacked a bit of aggression, especially for the goal. It was necessary to prevent [Lazovic] from crossing easily.

"These are issues that, unfortunately, the young players still do not understand, because these make the difference and make you take home points."

When Aaron Ramsey was substituted 22 minutes from time, six of the remaining Juve players were aged 23 or younger. Alessandro Di Pardo, introduced in place of Federico Chiesa late on, was a seventh.

Meanwhile, only Alex Sandro (147), Rodrigo Bentancur (102), Federico Bernardeschi (98), goalkeeper Szczesny (92) and Ronaldo (84) had made more than 50 league appearances for Juve.

Amid the lack of experience, Pirlo turned to Alex Sandro and Ronaldo to lift their colleagues, failing to do so as the defender was outjumped for Barak's leveller while the scorer of the opener ended the game having hit the target with only two of his seven attempts.

"When you have the advantage in these games, you have to try to bring it home," Pirlo added.

"But there was a lack of experienced players, many young players, therefore few who made themselves heard and understood the moment of the game.

"In fact, I asked Cristiano and Alex to make themselves heard, to make people understand the moment, but unfortunately there were too few [leaders].

"It's a shame to have dropped two points, because the most difficult thing was to take the lead and we had to make better use of this opportunity."

Juventus defender Alex Sandro has tested positive for coronavirus, the Serie A club announced on Monday.

The Brazil international - who played in Sunday's 4-1 league victory over Udinese in Turin - underwent a test after displaying what Juve described as "mild symptoms". 

Alex Sandro is self-isolating after it was confirmed he has contracted COVID-19, a concern for his club ahead of Wednesday's huge showdown with Milan.

"Juventus announces that following the appearance of some mild symptoms, a check was arranged for the player Alex Sandro, which revealed his positivity to COVID-19," a statement read.

"The player has already been placed in isolation. 

"The club is in contact with the health authorities for the definition of an effective implementation of the protocols needed to allow the training and competition activities of the team."

Alex Sandro featured for 83 minutes against Udinese before being replaced by Gianluca Frabotta, at which stage the hosts were 3-0 up in the game.

The 29-year-old has made seven league appearances under Andrea Pirlo during the 2020-21 campaign, as well as featuring three times in the Champions League group stage.

Juve travel to San Siro to face Milan - the unbeaten Serie A leaders - in midweek, followed by a home game against Sassuolo on Sunday.

Ten-man Juventus' unbeaten start to the Serie A season was ended by Fiorentina as they suffered a humbling 3-0 loss at the Allianz Stadium.

The champions had gone 12 games without a loss in the top flight under Andrea Pirlo prior to Tuesday's setback, coming on the day they discovered their 3-0 forfeit win over Napoli in October has been revoked following their opponents' successful appeal.

Dusan Vlahovic scored early on for Fiorentina and Juve then lost Juan Cuadrado with 18 minutes played, the referee upgrading the yellow card he initially showed to a red following a VAR check.

Juve were unable to hit back and conceded twice more in the final 14 minutes, with Alex Sandro putting into his net and their former player Martin Caceres tapping in to inflict a further Scudetto blow on Pirlo's men.
 

The transfer saga that is Jadon Sancho-Manchester United continues to roll on.

Sancho has long been tipped to join United, though Borussia Dortmund are adamant the England star will not return to his homeland this off-season.

United, however, are reportedly not giving up.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED HELD UP BY PERSONAL TERMS

Manchester United remain keen on signing Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho but personal terms and an agent fee are holding up their pursuit, according to ESPN.

Dortmund have insisted Sancho will not be sold, though United continue to target the former Manchester City youngster in a blockbuster transfer.

United have reportedly been given the green light to speak to Sancho and his representative but there has been an impasse with the player's camp over salary demands.

ROUND-UP

- Journalist Fabrizio Romano says Chelsea and Bayer Leverkusen are still negotiating a deal for star Kai Havertz. While Chelsea are confident, there remains a difference between the two clubs as Leverkusen hope to conclude a deal by the end of the month.

Jack Grealish to United? The Aston Villa captain continues to be linked with a move to Old Trafford and ESPN reports United goalkeeper Sergio Romero could be included in a deal to sign Grealish. Romero is United's number two behind David de Gea and the Argentina international's future is unclear, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer reportedly keen for Dean Henderson to challenge for the number one spot.

- According to Cadena Ser's El Larguero, Luis Suarez is aiming to stay at Barcelona. Linked with a return to former club Ajax, Suarez is reportedly one of a number of players who could be forced out following Ronald Koeman's arrival. However, Suarez, Lionel Messi, Gerard Pique, Sergio Busquets and Sergi Roberto all want to speak to Quique Setien's replacement.

- Amid doubts over Pique's long-term future with Barca, Libero claims newly promoted Premier League side Fulham have made an offer for the Spain international star.

United remain interested in signing Barca teenager Ansu Fati, reports Marca. The 17-year-old reportedly switched agents to Jorge Mendes, having previously been represented by Messi's brother.

- The Telegraph says Chelsea are considering a move for Paris Saint-Germain defender Thiago Silva. The 35-year-old will become a free agent following the Champions League final and he has already been linked with former club Milan and fellow Serie A side Fiorentina.

Juventus are negotiating with United for Federico Bernardeschi and Douglas Costa, claims La Gazzetta dello Sport. The report also says the Serie A champions are speaking to City regarding Alex Sandro, while new boss Andrea Pirlo is eyeing Roma striker Edin Dzeko and Sassuolo midfielder Manuel Locatelli.

- Tuttosport's frontpage on Thursday suggests a merry-go-round of strikers. Inter have reportedly told Real Madrid that Romelu Lukaku is not for sale, Juve are in talks with Wolves to sign Raul Jimenez and Inter are challenging the Bianconeri for Dzeko. Meanwhile, Napoli's Arkadiusz Milik is heading towards Roma.

- The countdown is on for Madrid to sell outcasts Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez, according to Marca.

Kai Havertz is reportedly ready to leave Bayer Leverkusen – and he knows where he wants to go.

The Germany international enjoyed another fine campaign with the Bundesliga club, leading to interest from across Europe.

And, it seems Havertz knows his preferred destination.

 

TOP STORY – HAVERTZ WANTS CHELSEA MOVE

Havertz wants a move to Chelsea and his agents have told Bayer Leverkusen he would like to leave if an important bid arrives in the next few weeks, according to Fabrizio Romano.

The 21-year-old is contracted at Leverkusen until 2022, but has been linked with the likes of Real Madrid.

Havertz scored 17 goals for Leverkusen in 2019-20, having netted 20 times in the previous season.

ROUND-UP

- Amid growing pressure on Antoine Griezmann, Barcelona have reassured the forward he has a future at the LaLiga club, according to ESPN.

- Real Madrid will listen to offers for forward Luka Jovic, according to Marca. The Serbia international has struggled during his first season at the LaLiga giants, scoring just twice in 25 games. Jovic has been linked to the likes of Milan, Arsenal and Newcastle United.

- Staying at Real Madrid and Sport reports the LaLiga leaders will target Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe and Rennes midfielder Eduardo Camavinga next year.

- Paul Pogba may be happy to stay at Manchester United. Fabrizio Romano reports United have opened contract talks with the midfielder's agent Mino Raiola, with Pogba having been linked to Madrid and Juventus.

- Alexandre Lacazette could be set for an Arsenal exit. CalcioMercato reports Juventus have already started talking to the forward's agents about a possible move.

- Also in Turin, CalcioMercato says Juventus are considering a move for Atalanta left-back Robin Gosens if Alex Sandro decides to leave.

Juventus are set to be without Alex Sandro and Sami Khedira when they resume their quest for a ninth successive Serie A title at Bologna next Monday.

Left-back Alex Sandro suffered a medial collateral ligament injury during Juve's defeat to Napoli in the Coppa Italia final on Wednesday.

The Brazil international's knee problem could reportedly keep him sidelined for three weeks.

Khedira damaged his thigh in the warm-up ahead of a drab final at Stadio Olimpico, where Napoli won 4-2 on penalties after a goalless 90 minutes.

Juve did not specify how long the duo will be out of action four days before their first Serie A match since the season was suspended in March due to the coronavirus crisis.

A club statement said: "Diagnostic tests carried out at J-Medical this afternoon [Thursday] showed for Alex Sandro, a first-degree lesion of the medial collateral ligament. Physiotherapy began immediately.

"For Khedira, a partial injury of the tendon on the long adductor muscle of the right thigh. In the coming days he will undergo further investigations to define recovery times.

"Personalised work for Giorgio Chiellini and Gonzalo Higuain also continues. Training is scheduled for Saturday afternoon."

The Turin giants are top of the table with 12 games remaining, just a point ahead of Lazio.

Chelsea are reportedly set to make a move for Bayer Leverkusen star Kai Havertz.

Havertz, 20, has been linked with numerous European giants after impressing for the Bundesliga club.

The Germany international has attracted plenty of interest, but Chelsea are apparently ready to strengthen even further this close season.

 

TOP STORY – CHELSEA PREPARE HAVERTZ BID

Chelsea are preparing a bid for Bayer Leverkusen star Havertz, according to the Daily Mail.

The Premier League giants are expected to sign RB Leipzig forward Timo Werner and Havertz could follow him to Stamford Bridge.

Real Madrid and Bayern Munich are among the other clubs reportedly interested in Havertz, who is rated at £75million.

ROUND-UP

- Manchester United have been linked to James Rodriguez previously and the playmaker could yet end up at Old Trafford. The Sun reports United have been asked about a cut-price deal for James, who is out of contract at Real Madrid next year.

- Staying at Manchester United and Sport reports they were prepared to pay £88.8m (€100m) for 17-year-old Barcelona forward Ansu Fati, but the LaLiga giants have no plans to let the teenager leave.

- Out of contract at the end of June, Adam Lallana could extend his Liverpool stay – at least briefly. The Daily Mail says the midfielder is on track to agree a short-term deal with the Premier League leaders to stay until the end of the season, before being expected to join Leicester City.

- Memphis Depay has enjoyed a strong season at Lyon, but the attacker is out of contract next year. CalcioMercato reports talks are moving slowly, leading to interest in the Netherlands international from AC Milan and potentially Everton.

- Leicester City left-back Ben Chilwell is linked with a switch. The Evening Standard reports Chelsea have the advantage over Manchester City in the chase for the England international due to the latter's Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) hearing as they challenge their European ban.

- With Alex Sandro contracted until 2023, Juventus seemingly have no plans to sell the left-back. According to CalcioMercato, the 29-year-old is not for sale – but he is also not untouchable.

Lautaro Martinez has been tipped to leave Inter at the end of the coronavirus-interrupted 2019-20 season.

His exploits in Italy have reportedly alerted Barcelona, who are determined to sign a long-term replacement for Luis Suarez.

And Martinez is apparently ready to swap the San Siro for Camp Nou.

 

TOP STORY – MARTINEZ WANTS BARCA MOVE

Inter star Lautaro Martinez has chosen to join Barcelona and will press for a move if necessary, according to Marca.

While Barcelona remain interested in re-signing Paris Saint-Germain superstar Neymar, Martinez is the club's primary transfer objective.

Real Madrid and Manchester City have also been linked to Martinez, but the former have turned their attention to Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland, while the latter are reportedly happy with Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus.

 

ROUND-UP

- Could another star leave Inter? Premier League leaders and Champions League holders Liverpool want to sign Marcelo Brozovic, claims Calciomercato. The Nerazzurri could be tempted by a €60million (£52m) offer.

- Calciomercarto reports Juventus and PSG are in discussions over Mauro Icardi. The Argentina forward is on loan at PSG from Inter, with the Ligue 1 champions having the option to sign Icardi permanently. Icardi has been tipped to return to Serie A and the story claims PSG could sign the Argentinian from Inter before selling him straight to Juve. A possible deal could involve the likes of Mattia De Sciglio, Miralem Pjanic, Douglas Costa and Alex Sandro.

- The Telegraph says Ajax have placed a €40m (£35m) price tag on goalkeeper Andre Onana, who has been linked to Chelsea, PSG and Barca.

Jadon Sancho will only move to Old Trafford if Manchester United secure Champions League football, says the Athletic. The Dortmund sensation has also been linked to Chelsea, Liverpool, former club City and Madrid.

- Gazzetta dello Sport says Inter have a list of potential replacements for Barca target Martinez. RB Leipzig's Timo Werner is the first name on the list, which also includes Arsenal star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, United forward Anthony Martial, Madrid striker Luka Jovic and Victor Osimhen of Lille.

Harry Kane is seemingly still an option for Real Madrid.

The LaLiga giants reportedly want to add a forward this close season and are linked with numerous players.

While Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland is believed to be their main target, it appears Kane is an option.

 

TOP STORY – REAL MADRID STILL CONSIDERING KANE

Tottenham forward Kane is still an option for Real Madrid, according to Mundo Deportivo.

Kane, 26, has been linked with a move away from Spurs previously, having been prolific with the Premier League club.

The England international has scored 17 goals in 25 games this season.

ROUND-UP

- Talk around Philippe Coutinho's future appears set to continue for a while. The Mirror reports Tottenham could join the race for the playmaker, who is expected to leave Barcelona permanently in the close season. Coutinho is on loan at Bayern Munich this season and Chelsea are also reportedly interested in the Brazil international.

- Could Juventus get a deal done for Mauro Icardi? Tuttosport reports the Serie A giants could sell left-back Alex Sandro to raise funds for a move for Icardi, who is on loan at Paris Saint-Germain from Inter this season.

- Napoli may be preparing for life without Kalidou Koulibaly. Corriere dello Sport reports I Partenopei are following Sevilla centre-back Diego Carlos, while Koulibaly is linked with a big-money move to PSG or Manchester United.

- Only 21, Houssem Aouar has already made more than 100 appearances for Lyon. AS reports Real Madrid are tipped to make a move for the France youth international midfielder.

- Out of contract attacker Pedro is set to leave Chelsea. Corriere dello Sport reports Roma are interested in the former Barcelona man.

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