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2019年7月8日星期一

High Cost Performance? Four Free Agents Juventus Will Be Looking At Next Summer

Juventus are very much the expert bargain hunters of Europe’s elite. Not a summer goes by now when they don’t scoop up another talented player for nothing having acquired both Aaron Ramsey and Adrien Rabiot from Arsenal and PSG, respectively, already this year.

Their list of free acquisitions is enviable to say the least, with the likes of Paul Pogba, Dani Alves and Andrea Pirlo, to name three, all making the move to Turin over the last 10 years.

And they won’t stop now in their bid to keep their spot as Italy’s best, so we look at a handful of players whose contracts are expiring next summer they could attempt to lure to the Juventus Stadium…

Christian Eriksen – Tottenham

Christian Eriksen’s protracted contract negotiations with Tottenham are well documented, with the club desperate to keep the Dane. However, with 12 months left to run on his deal, Eriksen has shown no signs that he is willing to extend his stay in north London, even with the club-record capture of Tanguy NDombele from Lyon.

Reports this week suggest chairman Daniel Levy has contacted Real Madrid over a possible switch to Spain, though while head honcho Florentino Perez is looking to land Eriksen, head coach Zinedine Zidane has his eye on Paul Pogba, leaving any possible move to the Bernabeu at an impasse. Juventus have been tentatively linked with a move the 27-year-old, who scored eight and registered 12 assists in the Premier League last season, as per iSports API.

If Eriksen is unwilling to extend his stay with Spurs, then Levy is hoping to cash in on the club’s creator-in-chief and it’s seen the them linked with a number of possible high-profile successors, ranging from Donny van de Beek to Giovani Lo Celso. Having courted Eriksen in the past, Juventus may push for a move for the former Ajax man, but given their abundance of riches in the middle of the park, there is no mad rush to sign the Denmark star.

David de Gea – Manchester United

Gianluigi Buffon is set for a romantic return to Juventus as he hopes to become the record Serie A appearance holder following his release from PSG. It’s likely he’ll return as backup to Wojciech Szczesny, who has since established himself as number one for the Italian giants, but Buffon is as solid a number two as they come.

In all honesty, it may be that he is merely keeping the subs bench warm, with David de Gea a possible target as a long-term number one for Juventus. Szczesny is not a poor goalkeeper, but when a shotstopper of De Gea’s calibre comes on the market, it’s impossible to overlook the chance to make a move. The Spaniard endured a poor season for Manchester United, and reports on Wednesday suggest he has been offered an improved deal in order to convince him to stay at Old Trafford.

His departure would be a massive blow to United, but he’s just the player for Juventus to target and the promise of regular action for a European powerhouse, and the lure of regular winners’ medals, may convince him to swap England for Italy. Only Hugo Lloris (42) has kept more clean sheets than De Gea (39) since the start of the 2016/17 Premier League season, as per isports API, and his stock remains incredibly high despite a poor campaign. With United in a turbulent state both on and off the pitch, De Gea’s head could be turned and it may be that he is entering the final months of his time in Manchester.

Timo Werner – RB Leipzig

Interest in Timo Werner is understandably high, with Liverpool and Bayern Munich keeping tabs on the Germany international. RB Leipzig are looking to keep the striker, yet in stalling on a new deal with the Bundesliga side, the German outfit are aware they may have to sell this summer or lose him in a free next year.

Either way, his departure will be a blow. The 23-year-old has scored 50 league goals and provided an additional 19 assists since the start of the 2016/17 Bundesliga season and having initially struggled with the rigours of playing in Germany’s top tier with VfB Stuttgart, Werner is now one of the most feared frontmen in the Bundesliga.

Bayern would love nothing more than to keep him in Germany, while Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is a keen admirer, but if he is available on a free next summer, then there will be no shortage of suitors. In Mario Mandzukic and Cristiano Ronaldo, Maurizio Sarri has two strikers at his disposal both the wrong age of 30 and investment is necessary for the club to ensure they continue to dominate Serie A.

The speedy forward would afford another dimension to Juventus’s attack and with Paulo Dybala linked with a move away, Sarri could do with adding another striker to help ease them into the club’s next phase. Considering his fine RB Leipzig form in the Bundesliga, Werner would be an impressive capture for Juventus, particularly if they can land the highly rated forward on a free.

Toby Alderweireld – Tottenham


Not the only Tottenham star to make the grade, but there is less of a chance of Toby Alderweireld moving to Juventus on a free next summer. That said, it the world of football transfers; never say never. Alderweireld has a well-publicised £25m release clause in his contract that can be triggered in the final two weeks of the transfer window and you can be sure a number of big hitters have that information stored.

Juventus will be one of those as they look to strengthen an ageing backline and Alderweireld, despite only turning 30 in March, would be a fine capture and a signal of intent for the Old Lady. Despite enduring his injury woes, the Belgian enjoyed a commendable campaign for a Tottenham side that made the Champions League final and secured a top four finish.

His exit would be a blow, but Pochettino is well-equipped to deal with his departure, with Davinson Sanchez and Juan Foyth waiting in the wings to step up. A switch to Roma has been mooted, with Nicolo Zaniolo heading the other way, but a move to Juventus and the chance to secure silverware as he nears the twilight years of his career would certainly appeal to the defender. That said, his aforementioned release clause complicates matters and a number of Premier League sides would be willing to match that £25m fee in order to strengthen their respective defences this summer.

(All data collected from isportsapi)

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