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Juventus look set to leave the Super League project still being pursued by Real Madrid and Barcelona, though the club denied Tuesday they had been threatened with a European ban by UEFA.

The three storied clubs are awaiting a ruling expected within weeks from the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg into their legal challenge against what they claimed is UEFA’s monopoly control of European club competitions.

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But Juventus responded to reports they already left the Super League by explaining there was merely contact with the two Spanish clubs “to initiate a discussion period” about an exit.

The three clubs were holdouts of the breakaway Super League announced in April 2021, which collapsed within 48 hours amid fan and player criticism that forced Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal, AC Milan, Inter Milan and Atletico Madrid to pull out.

UEFA was a clear winner when the Luxembourg court gave a first, non-binding opinion in the Super League case in December that went against the clubs.

It has been a tough season for Juventus’ owners, players and lawyers with no trophies won, legal cases lost and mass resignations among the board of directors.

A 10-point deduction in Serie A was finally confirmed last month in a false accounting case that dropped Juventus to finish seventh instead of qualifying for the next Champions League. That entry would have been worth tens of millions of euros to the financially troubled club.

However, even the two-time European champions’ place in the third-tier Europa Conference League is at risk from a separate UEFA investigation of the false accounting allegations.

Juventus appear likely to have broken UEFA’s financial fair play rules that can lead to bans imposed by a UEFA-appointed panel. A final verdict, potentially on appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, is needed before the Europa Conference League qualifying playoffs round in August.

Long-time club president Andrea Agnelli resigned in November in fallout from the case. He had been a UEFA executive committee member and chairman of the influential European Club Association before giving up those positions of power in 2021 to help launch the Super League.

Information from Reuters and The Associated Press was used in this story.

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Juventus to discuss Super League exit with Barcelona, Madrid