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The Serie A season isn’t even over yet, and Juventus are already making moves on the transfer market.
This has been a poor season by Bianconeri standards. For the first time since 2011, the club will end a season without lifting a single trophy. The unparalleled run of success in the Italian game had to end some time, and defeat to Inter in the final of the Coppa Italia meant that The Old Lady will go the season trophy less.
The ignominy of winning zero titles this season has stirred up the beast, and Juve are now taking action in the transfer market to ensure next season won’t follow this one.
The club are said to be in talks to sign Paris Saint-Germain winger Angel Di Maria on a free transfer, as well as offering a contract to Man United’s Paul Pogba and Inter’s Ivan Perisic.
Juve, who love a free transfer and are undoubted masters of that section of the market, are acting fast in the hope of securing all three before any other sides come calling. Much of Juve’s summer budget was supposedly spent on bringing in Dusan Vlahovic from Fiorentina in January, and therefore money isn’t as plentiful as it has been in previous summers.
While it would be highly surprising if Juve managed to sign all three, they would each improve the current squad. Pogba, who is also reportedly contemplating a much more lucrative offer from PSG, provides the kind of quality Juve haven’t had in midfield since he left the club in 2016. Juve have spent years with low-cost replacements for Pogba in midfield after he returned to Man United and, ironically, Juve could finally replace Pogba with Pogba, six years later.
Perisic, meanwhile, demonstrated against Juve just very recently what he’s capable of at the highest level. The Croatian was at his very best in the Coppa Italia final, scoring two, with his second goal being particularly spectacular, a half-volley from the edge of the area that rocketed into the opposite top corner of Mattia Perin’s goal.
Perisic has been superb for Inter all season and would offer real pace and dynamism down Juve’s left-hand side, which has been a real problem area for the club since Federico Chiesa’s injury that ruled him out for the rest of the season.
Di Maria would also be of immense benefit. Maurizio Arrivabene is tasked with rejuvenating an ageing team, and the youth is there in the shape of Vlahovic, Chiesa, Matthijs de Ligt and Manuel Locatelli, but experience is also needed. On that front, Di Maria is a player who can offer quality and experience, even at the age of 34.
Di Maria has proven over the years to be a versatile player, capable of playing in midfield as well as in attack, and thus could come in very useful to Max Allegri. Part of the reason why Juve wanted to move on from Paulo Dybala was because he simply didn’t work in a 4-3-3, and this is the system Juve will likely utilise next season, and so a potential attacking trio of Chiesa-Vlahovic-Di Maria could be menacing in Serie A.
Rumours have also linked Juve with a move for Chelsea’s Jorginho. This is a logical choice as Allegri wanted a regista upon his arrival last summer but wasn’t given one by management. Yet this season has shown that Juve badly need one, with Arthur, Locatelli and Adrien Rabiot unable to function in the role, while Aaron Ramsey gave up after a pre-season game or two.
Jorginho, in tandem with the potential arrival of Pogba, would bring some sort of cohesion to the Juve midfield that we haven’t seen for years. Of course, all of these are just rumours at this stage, and it’s unlikely that Juve will sign all four of the names mentioned, but the intensity of the rumours demonstrates that Juve have awoken from their complacent slumber, and are preparing early in avoiding another season like this one.
The bear has well and truly been poked.