Andrea Pirlo insisted Paulo Dybala was important to him amid continued speculation about the Juventus playmaker’s future.
Dybala, 27, is again linked with a move away from the Serie A champions despite expectations he would extend his stay at Juve, where he is contracted until 2022.
The Argentina international, who has been linked to Manchester United, missed Saturday’s 4-0 win over Parma due to a thigh injury.
Asked if Dybala was important to him, Juve coach Pirlo told reporters: “Absolutely. Champions like him are always fundamental in strong teams.”
Pirlo is hopeful Dybala may return as soon as Tuesday, when Juventus host Fiorentina.
“I train all the players. Dybala is one of them. He behaviour is great,” he said.
“Unfortunately, he’s got this little injury, and yesterday he tried to force it, but he was worried he would hurt himself even more. We hope to have him back on Tuesday.”
Juve are third in the Serie A table, a point behind leaders Milan, who visit Sassuolo on Sunday.