Buffon, Nedved stick with Juve

2006-07-20 07:47

Rome - Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon and Czech Republic midfielder Pavel Nedved on Wednesday pledged to stay with Juventus despite the crisis-torn club's relegation to Serie B.

Juve's demotion and 30-point deduction, which they were handed last week for their part in the Italian match-fixing scandals, led on Wednesday to the departure of World Cup winning skipper Fabio Cannavaro and Brazilian midfielder Emerson to Real Madrid.

But Buffon, 28, and influential playmaker Nedved have both indicated they are willing to stay and help the beleaguered Turin club.

Buffon's agent Silvano Martina said: "Gigi is staying with Juventus.

"He?s ready to play in Serie B. There was a bid from Roma to take him on loan but Juve didn?t consider it.

"The club said what any club would have, Buffon is an international and they could sell him for a vast fee, there?s no reason to loan him."

The club's talismanic striker Alessandro Del Piero had already said he does not want to leave and former Lazio star Nedved is also expected to stay.

Juventus sporting director Alessio Secco said: "Del Piero has told me that he and Nedved will definitely remain at the club."

Meanwhile, Inter Milan may be awarded the 2006 Serie A title, even though they finished third last season.

It had initially been thought that the championship would be declared void, but reports in Italy suggest Inter could now be handed the Scudetto.

Inter are so confident of being given the trophy that they have apparently prepared a space on the team's shirts to allow the 'victory' to be recorded.