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 By Ben Gladwell

Schalke confirm Marko Pjaca loan deal with Juventus

Weston McKennie chats with ESPN about the future of the USMNT, why he's happy he bypassed MLS for the Bundesliga and more.

Schalke have confirmed the arrival of Marko Pjaca from Juventus, on loan until the end of the season, after the Croatian passed a medical on Thursday.

Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri confirmed earlier this week that he would be sending Pjaca out on loan, since he was not able to give him enough opportunities at the Serie A club.

Allegri hopes the 22-year-old "will come back to us stronger than before" after his loan spell in Germany.

The Croatian attacking midfielder has been blighted by injury since moving to Turin from Dinamo Zagreb in 2016, making just 20 appearances for the Bianconeri and starting only three games in Serie A.

He has already linked up with his Schalke teammates at a winter training camp in Benidorm, after signing his contract which, according to the Bundesliga club's website, does not include an option to make the move a permanent one.

"We're pleased that Marko has chosen us," said Schalke coach Domenico Tedesco. "There were many clubs interested in him. He brings additional quality to our team. Marko is versatile; he can play on the right or the left, as well as in the support role or up front. "Furthermore, he's robust and has a good pace."

Schalke's general manager Christian Heidel added: "Marko desperately wanted to join us and we're sure he's going to help us out immediately."

The Royal Blues are based in Benidorm until Sunday, when they will return to Gelsenkirchen to prepare for the second half of the Bundesliga season as Bayern Munich's closest challengers at the top -- albeit at a distance of 11 points.

They are next in action on Saturday, Jan. 13 at fifth-placed RB Leipzig, where Pjaca could make his debut.

Ben Gladwell reports on Serie A, the Italian national team and the Bundesliga for ESPN FC, UEFA and the Press Association. @UEFAcomBenG.

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