Juventus Transfer News and Rumours Tracker: Week of August 18
With their summer tour of Asia and Australia now over, Juventus have returned to Italy to sharpen their focus on once again retaining the Serie A title. The new campaign commences in under two weeks' time, just before the international transfer window closes until January.
The Bianconeri have already made a number of key additions to their squad, but Beppe Marotta and his colleagues are always ready to make a late signing, should the right player become available. The club has noted the importance of the Champions League this term, with Massimiliano Allegri under no illusions as to where he must lead his team.
Having tasted domestic success in each of the last three seasons, the new coach is fully aware of what is expected of him in Turin. “Juventus must be among the top eight teams in Europe, it’s our duty,” he said at his inaugural press conference (h/t Juventus.com), setting the bar high on his first day in the job.
In order to do so, the Bianconeri may still need one or two quality additions. The following pages contain a regularly updated look at all the news and gossip surrounding the Italian champions.
*UPDATED FRIDAY AUGUST 22*
Names Emerge in Striker Hunt
After Beppe Marotta admitted Juventus were still looking for another addition in attack—per the club’s official website—a list of targets has emerged. Chief among them, according to Gianluca Di Marzio are Javier Hernandez of Manchester United and Arsenal’s Lukas Podolski.
New contract then a move for Frederick Sorensen?
After his move to Leeds United collapsed, Juventus are ready to hand Frederick Sorensen a new contract before allowing him to leave on loan. The young defender’s current deal expires next summer, and Gianluca Di Marzio reports an extension could soon be agreed upon.
Arturo Vidal Never for Sale
Juventus have once again stated that Arturo Vidal has never been for sale this summer. The midfielder has been constantly linked with a move to Manchester United over recent months, but the Bianconeri insist no talks were ever held.
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Beppe Marotta made the club’s position clear, telling them (h/t Football Italia):
Vidal is fine, he has started training again and his knee is working as normal again. He is still available for the team, there is always the same speculation about him.
He was never put up for sale and there have never been any negotiations for him. They are the usual media rumours that are apart from reality.
Reto Ziegler to Rescind Juventus Contract
It is being widely reported that Juventus and Reto Ziegler have agreed to annul the defender’s contract with immediate effect. Numerous media outlets—including Gianluca Di Marzio’s website—insist that the 28-year-old will terminate his deal a year early in order to pursue alternative options.
The former Tottenham full-back joined the Bianconeri in the summer of 2011, but failed to make a single appearance for the club, spending last season on loan at Sassuolo.
Juventus Seeking a Forward Not a Defender
Despite reports linking them with a number of central defenders—see earlier in this report—Juventus insist they do not need to make any signings in that area.
Speaking on Wednesday, Beppe Marrotta told reporters (h/t Juventus.com) that Andrea Barzagli’s recovery from injury and “the positive start [Luca] Marrone has made,” make new acquisitions unnecessary.
Asked about arrivals in other areas of the pitch, the director general went on to say:
We'll see what happens over the next ten days, if there's perhaps an opportunity to bring in a forward, though it would in any case be a relatively low-cost deal. Besides anything else, we have Coman who is displaying every ounce of his talent and who could well develop into a very special player.
Goalkeeper Jefferson “Perfect” for Juventus
The agent of Botafogo’s Jefferson says the Brazilian international would be an ideal signing for Juventus. Seemingly the new Selecao number one, his representative has talked up his chances of moving to Serie A
before the transfer window closes.
Speaking to TuttoMercatoWeb, (h/t Football Italia) Alessandro Alberti said of his client:
He is an animal in his physicality, like Nelson Dida, Jefferson may be 31, but he can certainly play in Italy. He has an international profile. For example, if Juventus were looking for an understudy to Gigi Buffon, he’d be perfect.
He could play at Sassuolo, seeing as they are looking for a goalkeeper. Or Palermo if Stefano Sorrentino leaves. He is a top class player, without a doubt, and Dunga’s call-up after he was second choice to Julio Cesar in Brazil is very gratifying.
Botafogo are not in good shape financially, so let’s say a serious and intelligent negotiation process would not be expensive.
Juventus to Bid for Matija Nastasic
Juventus are reportedly preparing a bid for Manchester City’s Matija Nastasic after Manuel Pellegrini made it clear the defender is free to leave the club. The Manchester Evening News believe the former Fiorentina man will be available for around £12million, with the Bianconeri seemingly leading the chase.
The newspaper also said that Roma may be interested in the 21-year old should they sell Mehdi Benatia, the Moroccan currently linked with a host of top clubs.
Benfica to Report Juventus over Luisao Approach?
Benfica could be set to lodge a complaint to FIFA over Juve’s allegedly illegal approach for Luisao. According to reports in Portuguese newspaper O Jogo (h/t Football Italia), the Lisbon club have also sent a warning letter to the Bianconeri to make their position clear.
Their unhappiness stems from news of the Italian champion’s interest in the central defender, which Benfica president Luis Filipe Vieira denied, telling the club’s in-house TV station (h/t FourFourTwo):
Luisao to Juventus? It is not true, if they want to discuss it with us, they will. Luisao has already said he wants to end his career with us.
Juventus and Milan Continue to Monitor Ezequiel Lavezzi
Ezequiel Lavezzi looks set to leave Paris Saint-Germain as his problems with the French club appeared to escalate this weekend. Talks over a new contract had already broken down, and he was then left out of their match against Bastia on Saturday.
Despite fears his wage demands may be too great, both Juventus and Milan have been keeping a close eye on the unsettled player, with Sky Italia (h/t Football Italia) reporting the Bianconeri sent a scout to monitor the 29-year-old.
Jorge Martinez Moves Away on Loan Again
Having thoroughly disappointed since his move to Juventus in 2010, it seems Jorge Martinez's time with the club has finally ended. Gianluca Di Marzio has reported that the winger has moved on loan to Juventud de Las Piedras in his native Uruguay.
Juventus Chase Cristian Zapata?
Juventus and their city rivals Torino are believed to be interested in Colombian international defender Cristian Zapata. Despite being a regular for his country at the World Cup, the 27-year-old is expected to be a reserve at Milan in 2014-15.
Sky Italia (h/t Football Italia) have reported strong interest from the Bianconeri, noting Zapata was a regular for the San Siro club under Massimiliano Allegri.