JUVENTUS TRANSFER TARGETS: IDEAL, BUDGET, AND QUIRKY OPTIONS
Juventus have been the most dominant side in the Serie A for many years as their trophy cabinet suggests. That kind of authority in the league ended last campaign with the Bianconeri finishing a distant 4th on the final matchday, 13 points behind Inter. Though they managed to win the Coppa Italia, the board put an end to the Andrea Pirlo experiment by bringing back former manager Max Allegri. He will be keen to help Juventus transfer targets as well.
— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) July 22, 2021
The club knows they cannot afford to go a second season without winning the league. In that regard, they will have to bring in reinforcements given the fact that their competitors are already buying players. Furthermore, the Old Lady will also be expected to put up a more than decent fight in the Champions League. However, it is not to say that there is only doom and gloom. Cristiano Ronaldo, last season’s Golden Boot winner is looking increasingly likely to stay in Turin.
— Man United News (@ManUtdMEN) July 17, 2021
The emerging talents of Federico Chiesa and Dejan Kulusevski will be vital this season with both solidifying their position as legitimate starters. The evergreen duo of Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci are sure to return given their successful Euros partnership. All of this does not mean that they do not need to spend this summer, they certainly do and in that regard, FootTheBall looks at Juventus transfer targets this summer.
PRIORITY NO. 1- CENTRAL MIDFIELDER
IDEAL OPTION- MANUEL LOCATELLI
The number one among Juventus transfer targets. Locatelli has been a constant presence for Sassuolo over the past few years. He is able to play both in the middle as well as a defensive cover for the backline which increases his importance. Despite his role, Locatelli managed to score four goals and provide two assists last season.
🎯 Manuel Locatelli made more accurate passes (2426) than any other midfielder in Serie A last season pic.twitter.com/WaSfIPVm2D
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) July 18, 2021
His passing accuracy of 88% along with a dribble success rate of 75% highlights his importance. For Italy, he had a breakout campaign with another couple of goals and played a key role in their Euro 2020 triumph. That has seen Juventus turn their attention to the 23-year-old.
— Marcus Christenson (@m_christenson) July 18, 2021
This is an important position for the club to strengthen given that their first-choice options have not panned out well. Aaron Ramsey and Arthur have seen limited game time during the past season. Adrien Rabiot is feeling the pressure of being a regular starter for a top club. Under these circumstances, getting Locatelli will be a certain upgrade for Allegri.
BUDGET OPTION- MIRALEM PJANIC
Should Juventus fail in getting their first-choice target, Pjanic is someone that the Bianconeri can consider. The 31-year-old played some of his best football with the club and was a menace from set-pieces. He was sent to Barcelona in a swap deal for Arthur and it suffices to say neither has worked out.
🎯 Miralem Pjanic was the only player to average more than 100 passes per 90 (107.9) in La Liga last season (15+ apps)
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) July 20, 2021
The Blaugrana are keen to offload Pjanic as they are under severe financial duress and Turin could be a safe option. There have been reports of a swap transfer taking place between Ramsey and Pjanic, but it will hinge on a lot of factors. Ramsey’s wage demands, for starters, will have to be reduced considerably.
Juventus 'offer Aaron Ramsey to Barcelona as they push to bring Miralem Pjanic back to Turin' https://t.co/M5JgSDgmPX
— MailOnline Sport (@MailSport) July 18, 2021
He is currently one of the top earners at Juventus which certainly will not be the case in Spain. Even if that were to be worked out, will Pjanic be happy returning to the club that dealt him? He might possibly, given that game time has been hard to come by last season.
FTB’S QUIRKY OPTION- LEANDRO PAREDES
The PSG midfielder and recent Copa America winner is someone who can immediately uplift the Old Lady. His two years in France have been hugely beneficial in developing his game which saw him accrue a passing accuracy of 91% last season. Paredes is not an established first-choice yet and there might be more bad news.
🗣️ "I can't wait to experience the Parc des Princes as a Paris Saint-Germain player. When I played here in the Champions League with Liverpool, I was very impressed."
🔴🔵 Georginio Wijnaldum = new midfielder in town!
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) July 22, 2021
The signing of Gini Wijnaldum by the Parisiens is likely to push Paredes further out of the picture. With Marco Verratti set to start and Wijnaldum in town, the Argentine will see his game time reduced further. If Juventus do come calling, it is hard to see them turn down the offer.
— footballitalia (@footballitalia) July 18, 2021
However, it will not be a cheap transfer fee. Allegri knows that he does not have a huge war chest to operate with. Paredes will be a solid upgrade and a combative player who is never shy of making tackles. His presence might just help the team win the battles that define a game often if he does sign.
PRIORITY NO.2- STRIKER
IDEAL OPTION- GABRIEL JESUS
Sometimes in life, you try your best and still do not get the desired result. For years, Jesus had tried to usurp Sergio Aguero as Manchester City’s number one striker with little to no avail. This past season could have been his best chance to show he does belong there. However, Pep Guardiola deployed a ‘false nine’ more often than not when Aguero was out.
⏱️ Best mins-per-goal ratio in the Premier League since 2016/17 (50+ starts):
1️⃣ Harry Kane – every 108.1 mins
2️⃣ Sergio Aguero – 117.2 mins
3️⃣ Mo Salah – 127.8 mins
4️⃣ Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 144.8 mins
5️⃣ Gabriel Jesus – 148.6 mins pic.twitter.com/apclVPDBVi
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) July 16, 2021
With reports suggesting that the Cityzens are going after Harry Kane, it seems likely that Jesus’ time is up. Juventus are said to be increasingly keen on the attacker. They need to provide additional firepower to ably support Ronaldo. Though Alvaro Morata remains in Turin, that has not stopped their search. City should get a decent amount of money for the player who had 13 goal contributions in the league.
— Mirror Football (@MirrorFootball) July 16, 2021
Allegri is said to be a big fan and Juventus do have the means to get the deal done. The only caveat that might scupper the deal is Jesus will certainly not be a starter in Turin either. If a change in scenery and the chance to prove himself is his goal, Jesus will be a great fit as one of Juventus transfer targets.
BUDGET OPTION- KAIO JORGE
The 19-year-old Santos attacker has been a regular for the Brazilian side over the past two seasons. AC Milan are said to be the favourites for him with Juventus in the fray as well. Santos are demanding around €10m which the Rossoneri consider too high. However, their bargaining power is weakened by the fact that Jorge’s contract with them expires in December.
— OptaPaolo 🏆 (@OptaPaolo) July 19, 2021
Juventus should keep their options open and Jorge is certainly a viable target. He had four goals and one assist last term and looks set to develop further quickly. Allegri knows he does not need to throw Jorge at the deep end right from the off given the presence of veterans.
— footballitalia (@footballitalia) July 18, 2021
The youngster will also benefit immensely from learning from some of the game’s greatest goal scorers. Jorge has the potential to develop into a real asset for the Bianconeri and at such a low price is surely worth the risk. The opportunity of preventing their rival from getting him is an added bonus.
FTB’S QUIRKY OPTION- PATRICK CUTRONE
It has not been an easy couple of years for Cutrone in England. Having signed for Wolverhampton in 2019 for around €20m, he struggled for game time. Wolves loaned him out to Fiorentina and Valencia respectively across the last season with other players getting the nod at Molineux.
🥴 Patrick Cutrone's 2021:
📆 Jan 7 – Recalled from loan
📆 Jan 8 – 12 mins vs Palace
📆 Jan 12 – 12 mins vs Everton
📆 Jan 16 – 11 mins vs WBA
📆 Jan 22 – 69 mins vs Chorley
📆 Jan 27 – 0 mins vs Chelsea
📆 Jan 30 – Not in squad vs Palace
📆 Jan 31 – Joins Valencia on loan pic.twitter.com/lykBsDcOGC
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) February 1, 2021
With the return of first-choice Raul Jimenez for the club, his minutes are sure to decline further. Juventus can offer the perfect getaway for the Italy youth international in the quest to kickstart his career again. Allegri will be gaining a striker whom he can polish into one of the deadliest in front of goal.
— OptaPaolo 🏆 (@OptaPaolo) January 10, 2020
Cutrone can be supremely efficient coming off the bench or even starting alongside Ronaldo up top. Instilling confidence in the striker will be key to get him back to his scoring form. Juventus do not need to go overboard in buying Cutrone as Wolves will not provide too much of a roadblock given their depth of options.
Juventus know they are not too much hamstrung in their quest for new players. Their pull amongst European clubs is still great and adding a few key pieces will benefit hugely. Allegri and co. know that they need to get Juventus back amongst silverware contention. The Old Lady can ill-afford to put a foot wrong though, and with the ever-increasing competition in Italy, it is shaping up to a crucial summer. Juventus have a good amount of transfer targets that they can well go after.