Juventus midfielder Blaise Matuidi has publicly revealed his happiness in Turin, while revealing talks over a contract extension with the Serie A champions is ongoing.
Matuidi, 32, made 42 appearances across all competitions for Juventus and reinforced the fact he’s an integral part of their midfield. However, the France international – currently on international duty – has entered the final year of his existing contract.
It’s perhaps fitting that since his departure two summers ago, Paris Saint-Germain have lacked bite and tenacity in midfield. So unsurprisingly, Juve are eager to tie him down to improved terms.
“I could’ve stayed at Paris Saint-Germain if I wanted to, nobody put a gun to my head asking me to leave – but at the moment when you don’t feel the necessary confidence in you anymore, it’s best to move on.
I still have a year on my contract and an option for another season. I am happy, don’t have regrets as I love a challenge and am today the happiest man in the world.”
Agent Mino Raiola has been left in charge of talks with the club, despite a three-month ban by FIFA, but Matuidi suggested his willingness to stay on beyond the 19/20 campaign.
“I am really happy at Juve. We never know what can happen in football but in the meantime, I am happy – my family too,” Blaise said at a news conference on Thursday ahead of their Euro 2020 qualifier with Turkey.
“Regarding my contract, I let my agent deal with it. So far he has always done well – I do not know why it would suddenly change, I’m not worried. I talk to [Raiola] and everything is going well. He will talk when the time is right, he’s the one who can talk about [his suspension] and it doesn’t prevent us from talking together. We’ll find the best solution.”
Despite retaining their Serie A title, Juventus were largely underwhelming in both the Champions League and Coppa Italia.
Beaten by Eredivisie champions Ajax in the last-eight, while a 3-0 cup defeat by Atalanta in the quarter-finals meant they also failed to claim more domestic glory in a frustrating campaign that originally promised plenty.
Blaise reflects after difficult campaign
However, Matuidi was in a reflective mood and keen to look at the positives.
“It was a season that was quite positive even if we wanted to go further in the Champions League, it went quite well for me. I played almost every game – I didn’t have any big injuries so I’m quite happy with my season. Obviously there were some ups and downs, but overall it was a good season.”
“Our Champions League exit was the darkest moment of the year and we can see now that we’re paying the consequences for that, seeing as our coach [Massimiliano Allegri] has left. We had the capabilities to do better, but were unable to raise our game at the right moment.”
What’s next for Juve on the managerial front?
There was heavy speculation linking Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola with a lucrative three-year deal to take over in Turin, something the Spaniard has vehemently denied.
Since then though, Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has emerged as the frontrunner to succeed Allegri this summer after a tricky first season’s work in west London – ending with a first taste of silverware in his managerial career as they beat Arsenal 4-1 to win the UEFA Europa League on May 29.