Juventus midfielder Miralem Pjanic has revealed he turned down offers from both Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal during his time at AS Roma. The Bosnia international moved to Juventus from AS Roma in 2016 and has been an integral member of Massimiliano Allegri’s squad since then.
It is understood Spurs eyed Pjanic as a replacement for Luka Modric who left the club to join Spanish giants Real Madrid in 2012. But the Juventus midfielder has no regrets for turning down offers from the Premier League clubs and says his decision to stay with Roma was for “good reasons”.
“You want to know the names?” Pjanic told the Telegraph. “They were Arsenal and Tottenham.”
“There was the opportunity but at that moment I told them I was happy where I was and that’s why we didn’t sign the deal. But I made my choice using my head and if I made that choice not to go to an English team it was for good reasons.”
The Bosnian will line up against Mauricio Pochettino’s Spurs on Tuesday night in the first leg of Champions League’s round of 16. Pjanic, whose team are chasing three trophies this season, is focused on getting past Spurs but is wary of the threat we possess.
“We are very competitive, very hungry and we definitely want to win it [the Champions League],” the midfielder added.
“I have to say however, that we face a really strong team in Tottenham Hotspur.”
Pjanic is one of the most sought-after midfielders across Europe and has extraordinary set-piece abilities. It is understandable why he rejected a move to Spurs during his time at Roma. Had it been now, the 27-year-old would have happily joined our team, knowing Poch’s attacking style of play and desire to challenge for every single trophy.
We face a daunting task against Juventus and if we are to succeed in both the legs, our defenders and midfielders have to keep a special check on Pjanic. Knowing he is a dead-ball specialist, our defence will have a task cut out on Tuesday.
Given that Paulo Dybala is out for the first leg, if our team can keep Pjanic quiet for 90 minutes, I am certain the team could come back home with a positive result ahead of the second leg in March.