Udinese director Federico Balzaretti confirms Napoli and Juventus target Lazar Samardzic ‘was never close’ to a deal, while Italy talent Simone Pafundi is on the verge of joining FC Lausanne.

The Friulani are in action at the Bluenergy Stadium against Milan this evening, having already beaten them 1-0 at San Siro earlier this season.

Samardzic is in the starting XI and there remains confusion over his future, as after talks collapsed at the last minute with Inter over the summer, in January the negotiations with Napoli faltered.

“There is a lot of interest in the lad, but there were never talks that were close to an agreement,” Balzaretti told Sky Sport Italia.

“He is responding very well and is in the starting XI tonight, so he is an added value for this team.”

The Serbian midfielder turns 22 next month and was also linked with Lazio and Brighton and Hove Albion.

However, Udinese are on the verge of securing the departure of Italy international Pafundi to Swiss side FC Lausanne-Sport, reportedly a loan with option to buy.

“There are negotiations with Lausanne. He had many offers, together we opted for this decision to go abroad, analysing the pros and cons.

“In the global world where we live, there is nothing bad in that. It is not 100 per cent defined yet, but we are working on it.”

Although he was regularly called up by the senior Italy squad under Roberto Mancini and received his first cap, Pafundi barely ever got a chance to represent Udinese.

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