Juventus manager Andrea Pirlo was supposedly insistent that the Serie A champions turn down a 'monstrous bid' from Premier League side Leicester City for their promising centre-back Merih Demiral last summer.
A legendary former player, Pirlo replaced Maurizio Sarri nine days after being originally appointed as manager of the club's Under-23 side at the end of last season. In his first ever managerial position, Pirlo has overseen an unbeaten start to Juventus' league campaign, with Demiral starting at the back in the club's last five domestic outings.
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Having recovered from a serious knee injury at the turn of the year, Demiral has worked his way into Pirlo's regular starting XI thanks in part to the early season absence of Dutch international Matthijs de Ligt. Leicester had two sizeable bids for Demiral rejected during the previous January transfer window - before his injury - and were thought to have reignited their interest in the centre-back last summer.
Leicester were so intent on securing Demiral's signature that they presented a bid described as a 'monstrous offer' by the Italian publication Calciomercato. However, Pirlo - who only took charge at the start of August - was adamant Juventus hold on to the Turkey international.
The report also claims that Pirlo played a pivotal role in dissuading Juventus from parting ways with French midfielder Adrien Rabiot and the versatile former Manchester City man Danilo. Both players have featured in each of Juve's opening ten fixtures of the season. Danilo, playing in either full-back positions or as a centre-back, has missed just five minutes of the campaign so far.
With the move for Demiral a non-starter, Leicester turned to the French top flight in search of defensive reinforcements, ultimately spending £31.5m on bringing Wesley Fofana from Saint-Etienne to the King Power Stadium. The 19-year-old defender is yet to miss a minute of football for the Foxes since making his debut against Aston Villa in mid-October.