Pjanic: Roma's style suits me

The Giallorossi midfielder praised coach Rudi Garcia for handing him a more prominent role and expressed joy at plying his trade in Rome

EXCLUSIVE
By Johann Crochet

Miralem Pjanic says Rudi Garcia’s influence is a major factor behind Roma’s dramatic improvement and is enjoying the coach’s style of play.

The Giallorossi started the campaign terrifically, winning their first 10 Serie A games and are well in contention for their first return to the Champions League since 2011.

Pjanic, 23, has been allowed more freedom in midfield playing ahead of Daniele De Rossi and Kevin Strootman in a midfield three and the Bosnian is relishing the more creative role in the team.

“Since Rudi Garcia arrived, maybe I’m more prominent,” Pjanic told Goal.

“My game is quite different from that at Lyon. I’m more mature and I have much more experience.

“It is true that the style of play suits me. It relies heavily on the midfield, Garcia lets us organise the game and he does not want us to play the long ball all the time. I have a lot more responsibilities.

“Our game is based on the possession and control of the game. I am the most offensive of the three midfielders and Garcia gives me a lot of freedom. I get on very well with Daniele De Rossi and Kevin Strootman.

“He asked me to move much to disrupt enemy lines. The balance has been achieved this season and a lot of defensive efforts at the request of coach.

“Offensively, I have a lot of freedom and Garcia gives me total confidence.”

Roma are preparing for a clash against Bologna and will be hoping to narrow the gap on Juventus to six points with their game in hand.

Serie A Team of the Week: Gilardino & Destro double up

The best players from Italy’s latest round of top-flight action are recognised in our weekly roll of honour

Another round of Serie A action brought another week of star performances all across the peninsula, making more more tough choices in compiling the latest Goal Team of the Week.

The XI is led from the back by Christian Abbiati, who made some decisive saves before Mario Balotelli’s dramatic late winner for Milan against Bologna. Gino Peruzzi secures the right-back slot after his goal-scoring performance in Catania’s victory over Lazio, with Walter Samuel providing another wall-like display as Inter won at Fiorentina. Emerson grabbed the first goal in Livorno’s win at Cagliari, while Cristian Molinaro kicked off Parma’s stunning 4-0 triumph at Atalanta.

Torino were boosted by the display of Omar El Kaddouri as they beat Verona on Monday, while Miralem Pjanic made light work of the loss of Francesco Totti in Roma’s win against Sampdoria. Juventus continued on their merry stroll towards another Scudetto after Kwadwo Asamoah opened the scoring against Chievo.

Lorenzo Insigne was a goalscorer as Napoli won away to Sassuolo, Alberto Gilardino grabbed two late goals to earn Genoa a point against Udinese while Mattia Destro also scored twice to ensure Roma took maximum points from their clash with Sampdoria at the Olimpico.

Barca & PSG considering Pjanic summer swoop

The Giallorossi midfielder might not be leaving Italy in January, but he is expected to depart in the summer as interest swells at Camp Nou and Parc des Princes

SPECIAL REPORT
By Marco Terrenato

Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain are eyeing Roma midfielder Miralem Pjanic as a future signing.

Yohan Cabaye’s move from Newcastle United to Paris Saint-Germain for €24 million ensured that les Parisiens will call off their pursuit in the current transfer window.

PSG prioritised the signing of Cabaye to shore up their midfield after the Giallorossi demanded an eye-watering €55m for Pjanic following his impressive Serie A form, but Laurent Blanc is expected to return with a new offer later this year.

The 23-year-old has also been targeted as a potential successor to Xavi at Camp Nou by Barca, who are considering a summer swoop for the in-demand central midfielder.

Xavi, now 34, has been linked with a move to MLS either in 2014 or next year and Pjanic is seen as a player in the mould of the Spain veteran.

The arrival of Radja Nainggolan from Cagliari triggered suggestions that Rudi Garcia could offload Pjanic the same way the Stadio Olimpico side sold Marquinhos, Pablo Osvaldo and Erik Lamela for large sums of money last summer.

Regardless of whether Roma qualify for the Champions League next season, the capital-based club would have every intention of investing the €35-40m they believe they can get for Pjanic, who is primed to feature prominently at the World Cup for Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Before any potential sale, Roma intend to give Pjanic a four-year extension on his current deal – which expires in 2015 – to boost his value, but will ensure that there is a release clause on the €3m-a-year they are willing to offer him.

Blanc: Pjanic a good Cabaye alternative

The Parisians coach believes the Roma midfielder could be an alternative to Cabaye and will be very happy if they can bring in at least one of these options

Paris Saint-Germain coach Laurent Blanc has revealed the club is considering a move for Miralem Pjanic over Yohan Cabaye.

Newcastle United midfielder Cabaye has long been admired by Blanc, who has previously admitted PSG’s interest, having worked with the former Lille captain during his spell in charge of the France national team.

The 48-year-old is hoping to bring Cabaye to Parc des Princes but revealed Roma star Pjanic, who left Olympique Lyonnais for Roma in 2011, could be signed as an alternative.

“Yes, Pjanic is interesting,” Blanc said at a press conference on Friday. “He could be a good alternative to Cabaye.

“They are both targets for PSG; they are very technical players who have the same profile. If a midfielder comes this winter, I’ll be very happy.”

Roma, though, have moved to deny reports that they are in negotiations with PSG over a deal for Pjanic.

Their official Twitter account, said:  “AS Roma would like to stress that there are no talks underway regarding the exit of Miralem Pjanic. The player is not for sale‏.”

Blanc offered a positive update on the fitness of 18-year-old Adrien Rabiot, who suffered knee ligament damage in the Coupe de la Ligue win at Bordeaux earlier this month.

There had been fears that the teenager would spend considerable time on the sidelines, but Blanc has indicated that Rabiot could make a quick recovery.

“He has lateral ligament damage,” Blanc added. “There is rehabilitation work to do, but no operation.

“The news is very positive. He will be training in the beginning or middle of next week.”

Defending Ligue 1 champions PSG, five points clear at the top of the table, travel to Guingamp on Saturday, seeking to get back to winning ways following a 2-1 home defeat to Montpellier in the Coupe de France.

Pjanic hints at interest in PSG move

The midfielder says Laurent Blanc’s side would be the only team in France he would consider joining but has stressed he is happy with life at Roma

Roma attacking midfielder Miralem Pjanic has hinted he could be open to a move to Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain.

The 23-year-old has been earmarked as one of Laurent Blanc’s primary transfer targets this month following a strong first half of the season with the Giallorossi, while Manchester United have also been credited with an interest.

Pjanic – who joined Roma from Olympique Lyonnais in 2011 – has stressed he is enjoying life in the Italian capital but suggests he could be tempted to return to France should PSG come calling.

“It’s the only club I would go to in France,” he told Telefoot when asked about PSG.

“I’m at Roma, it’s a big club and I feel really good here. I love the fans and I am a fan of Roma. If there must be a transfer, all parties must agree. For the moment, I’m staying concentrated on my football.”

Bosnia and Herzegovina international Pjanic was involved in Roma’s 3-0 triumph over Livorno on Saturday.