Udinese are confident captain Antonio Di Natale will remain at the club beyond this summer. The Italy forward surprised his club and the fans by announcing earlier this year his intention to retire from football at the end of the season.
However, Udinese sporting director Cristiano Giaretta believes the 36-year-old, who recently joined the ten all-time Serie A scorers with 187 goals, will reconsider his decision. "We are convinced that Toto (Di Natale) will be playing with us next season," he said to Gazzetta dello Sport. "He is really charged up and we are certain that he has the determination to continue to play. He is a very important player, a leader for his team-mates."
Giaretta also confirmed teenager Simone Scuffet will still be at the Stadio Friuli next year despite attracting the attention of top clubs. The 17-year-old has established himself as Udinese's first-choice goalkeeper this season and has had a solid campaign.
Reports in Italy claim Juventus are targeting Scuffet as a potential long-term replacement for Gianluigi Buffon. "Regarding Scuffet, we have only received calls congratulating him on his season," Giaretta said. "There have been no contacts with clubs so far. "We will keep him for at least another year. He is a young man with his feet firmly on the ground and we will try to help him focus on matters on the pitch."