Federico Balzaretti warns Serie A clubs interested in Lazar Samardzic, including Juventus, that Udinese will ‘silence’ their phones in January, confirming that they are unwilling to sell the 21-year-old.

Samardzic seemed on the verge of joining Inter over the summer having even completed his medical tests at the Stadio Meazza. However, his entourage failed to reach an economic agreement with the Nerazzurri, so Serbia International didn’t leave Udine.

A host of Serie A clubs, including Juventus, remain interested in Samardzic, but Udinese are unwilling to sell in the January transfer window.

“We’ll silence the phone,” Balzaretti said in an interview with Radio Sportiva, as quoted by Tuttosport.

The question was about the future of the 21-year-old and how many calls Balzaretti expects to receive.

“We want to keep him at Udinese, we are aware many clubs appreciate him, but he must stay to continue his growth,” insisted the former Italy international.

“He’s a pure talent and he reminds me of Miralem Pjanic when he arrived at Roma. I wish him to have the same career in one of Europe’s top clubs. He has the potential to do the same, but I keep telling him every day that the present will determine his future.”

Samardzic has two goals and one assist in 13 Serie A appearances so far this season and his contract at the Bluenergy Stadium runs out in June 2026.

Juventus will predictably sign a new central midfielder in January following the suspensions of Paul Pogba and Nicolò Fagioli. However, Samardzic is not the only name on the Old Lady’s agenda, as the Bianconeri are also reportedly monitoring the likes of Kalvin Phillips, Pierre-Emile Højbjerg, Rodrigo De Paul and Fabian Ruiz.

Balzaretti also spoke about Italy and Udinese starlet Simone Pafundi, a 17-year-old called up several times by Roberto Mancini while in charge of the Azzurri despite his lack of playing time in Serie A.

“I see a bit of Pastore and a bit of Ilicic in him, he is a great talent,” said Balzaretti.

“He has to work a lot on many aspects, especially resilience. He is not getting much playing time and I believe these struggles and sacrifices will take him on an important path. I think he has everything to get to the high levels with a desire to improve.”

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