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Juventus boss Sarri to miss Napoli match due to pneumonia

22:30 EAT 30/08/2019
Maurizio Sarri Juventus Inter ICC 2019
The new Juve boss will miss his second straight league match as he continues his recovery from illness

Maurizio Sarri will miss out when his new side Juventus host his former employers Napoli on Saturday.

The ex-Chelsea boss skipped last weekend's season-opening win away at Parma after being diagnosed with pneumonia earlier this month.

Juve initially gave Sarri, who succeeded compatriot Massimiliano Allegri at the Serie A champions in June, until after the international break to recuperate.

Though it appeared he could make an early return, Sarri will now look toward the other side of the international break to make his Juventus debut.

"It was right that these first two games he should remain out to recover," Juve vice president Pavel Nedved said. "With pneumonia we shouldn't mess around.

"I think we'll see him back on the bench immediately after the international break."

Earlier on Friday, Juve assistant Giovanni Martusciello claimed that Sarri was ready to make a surprise return to the sideline against Napoli. 

"He is good. Sarri has always been present at the club even without directing training," Martusciello told reporters.

"We have the final training session in the afternoon and then we will see if he is able to make it tomorrow."

Sarri coached Napoli for three seasons, guiding the club to two second-place finishes behind the Bianconeri before moving to Stamford Bridge in July 2018.

One of his stars at Stadio San Paolo, Gonzalo Higuain, has been given the chance to resurrect his Juve career this season and started the 1-0 defeat of Parma.

The striker's inclusion came at the expense of Paolo Dybala, the subject of persistent transfer speculation throughout the transfer window.

Manchester United were linked with Dybala as part of a deal that would have taken Romelu Lukaku to Turin, but the two clubs were unable to agree a deal.

Martusciello admitted the Argentina international was frustrated by his omission but insisted his attitude is not in question.

"Dybala is an extraordinary player," he said.

"He is focused despite all the talk. He is very motivated and a level-headed person. Not playing from the beginning upset him but it is part of the rules to be respected: you play with 11 and we have a squad of 27.

"They are all of an equal level except for Ronaldo, so you have to make specific choices. We are happy to have selection problems."