Sampdoria coach Claudio Ranieri insists Fabio Quagliarella did not feature against Inter for tactical reasons, despite reports linking the striker with a stunning return to Juventus.
Quagliarella previously spent four years with Juve, initially joining on loan before making his switch permanent, and won the Serie A title for three successive seasons under Antonio Conte.
The 37-year-old is rumoured to be a potential target for the reigning champions as they look to strengthen their forward options for the second half of the 2020-21 campaign.
Ranieri kept the veteran frontman on the bench for the entirety of Wednesday’s 2-1 home win over Inter, yet insisted afterwards it had nothing to do with speculation over the player’s future at the club.
“The fact that he did not enter has nothing to do with the transfer market, it was a technical choice,” Ranieri explained to Sky Sport Italia.
The evergreen Quagliarella has scored seven goals in 14 Serie A appearances this season for Samp, boasting a conversion rate of 25 per cent.
Cristiano Ronaldo is the competition’s top scorer but Juve want to provide support for the Portuguese.
They have also been linked with another experienced forward in Olivier Giroud, who could be on the move in the January window due to a lack of playing time at Chelsea.
“We could use him,” Juve head coach Andrea Pirlo told DAZN after a 4-1 win over Udinese at the weekend. “But these are things that [Juventus sporting director Fabio] Paratici knows better than me.
“We talked about it but let’s see if we will do something in the next few days.”
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