'I would have kept Pogba for life' - Napoli chief questions Juventus transfers

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The midfielder was a star for the Turin giants before his sale to Manchester United, a sale Aurelio De Laurentiis would never have let happen

Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has criticised Juventus' decisions in the transfer market and says he would have kept Paul Pogba "for the rest of my life".

After playing a starring role in four Serie A winning seasons, Pogba was sold to Manchester United for a then world record €105 million in 2016, and the Bianconeri then saw another star player in Leonardo Bonucci leave this summer to join Serie A rivals AC Milan.

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Although Massimiliano Allegri's team retained the league title and reached the Champions League final this season, they have slipped behind Napoli this season after drawing with Atalanta last week.

And De Laurentiis suggested the Turin giants' standards are slipping, insisting he would never have allowed Pogba to leave.

"I see a Juventus that's more nervous and worried," he told La Gazzetta dello Sport. "They have lost important players in recent years.

"Giorgio Chiellini is still there, but Bonucci went to Milan: he was crucial. Andrea Pirlo wasn't replaced and I would've kept Pogba her for the rest of my life."

As Napoli hold a perfect record in the league after seven games, scoring 25 goals, the film producer is happy with their start to the season. Although he was careful not to hype up their chances of winning the title, he had special praise for coach Maurizio Sarri.

“I’m not surprised, but I’m not getting carried away either. I still think we’ll only know the truth at the end of March.

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"I wanted him, and took criticism of from the fans for it. I had fallen in love with him then but even more so now. He has a great advantage and a great gift: he is no fool, he is a multifaceted man. He is prepared and you can talk to him about so many things. 

"I hope he stays with us for at least another 10 years."

Napoli pay a visit to fifth-placed Roma on October 14 in their next Serie A game.

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