Transfer News

Juventus back in for Axel Witsel

August 29, 2016 - 4:48 pm

As the transfer window draws to a close, Juventus remain in the hunt for a midfielder and may opt for Axel Witsel.

Due to the problems arising from the Bianconeri’s pursuit of Blaise Matuidi, Juve have redirected their efforts to the possible transfer of Zenit midfielder Axel Witsel.

According to Sky Sport Italia journalist Gianluca Di Marzio, Juventus have offered €15m for the Belgian midfielder whose contract expires in 2017, however the Russian side are demanding at least €22m.

The Belgian is believed to be keen on the move, especially as Juve have already agreed personal terms with the player.

UPDATE – 30th August

Zenit St Petersburg Coach Mircea Lucescu has confirmed that Axel Witsel rejected an offer from Everton and is now in talks with Juventus over a move.

“We had a serious offer from Everton for Witsel, but the player rejected it,” Lucescu told Dolce Sport.

“Now the lad and Zenit have two days to find an agreement with Juventus for a possible transfer.”

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    ho Hi August 29, 2016 at 5:34 pm

    Well well well is that man the cherry on top of the cake?

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      Norse Wolf August 29, 2016 at 6:00 pm

      He’s a great player, a cherry on top of the cake? No. Neither are Juve spoiled brats.

      • Avatar
        ho Hi August 30, 2016 at 4:46 am

        Hey dude, i just quoted Beppe.

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    Gerald Quinn August 29, 2016 at 7:01 pm

    nooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! why does Beppe want shit players!!!! Witsel? Lusi Gustavo? lord help juve!

    Jesus fucking christ!!! get somone worth a damn like Fabregas! Neves! Tielemans! Herrera!

    • Avatar
      Peter August 29, 2016 at 7:49 pm

      Fabregas?! I’d rather have Padoin back…

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        Gerald Quinn August 30, 2016 at 6:39 am

        ? well ok …perhaps u dont like Fabregas for xyz reason …but come on ? Better than Padoin?? lol they are diffrent classes, sure Fabregas may not be a likable guy…but skill wise he throws shitty Padoin out of the water.

        Fabregas is one of the best passers and most creative midfielders in the game…i dont see what there isnt to like his age? we are going for even older players. His Pace? ill give that one to you…but he makes up for it in clinical passes and many moments of brilliance. His temper? ill give you that one..but what can we do thats his style….All i know is that in terms of “Proven Skill” Fabregas is the only one left….I mean witsel and gustavo? lol here i thought we where building a team for the champions league

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          Peter August 30, 2016 at 11:18 am

          I don’t doubt Fabregas’ raw skill on the field. I doubt his dedication based what I’ve seen from him in his previous clubs. Padoin is a very average footballer, but he gave in everything every time he was playing.

          I guess I just don’t like him.

      • Avatar
        Dar Black August 30, 2016 at 10:33 am

        Pado would be cheaper! Don’t worry, Fabregas won’t come. He is on 175k euros a week at Chelsea. Unless he takes a big cut he would be earning more than Higuain. Juve won’t add another huge wage to the payroll this year.

        • Avatar
          Peter August 30, 2016 at 11:19 am

          Yeah, I’m counting on this.

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      James Mcckoy August 29, 2016 at 8:56 pm

      What’s wrong with Luiz Gustavo?

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        Gerald Quinn August 30, 2016 at 6:35 am

        he is crap…No pace, not one of the more talented brazilians, an awful shot from distance, no noticable strength, not to comfortable with the ball at feet, … and to top it all off he is super old …but even when he was younger and at Bayern he was crap, we need leaders and creative players….Gustavo is niether

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          James Mcckoy August 30, 2016 at 7:31 am

          True, although he is great defensively. I am curious to know, out of the realistic targets (Gustavo, Witsel, Sissoko, N’Zonzi, Brozovic, Fabregas, and now apperantly Matuidi again) who would you rather get?

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            Gerald Quinn August 30, 2016 at 5:16 pm

            Witsel wouldent be bad, The thing is why buy him when u can get him for free? its dumb, Juve can wait a season, Witsel is no world class top player that will dramatically and instantly improve the squad and our game in his first match…we can wait

            – Witsel is not a bad player i dont mind him in our squad..the reason why i oppose his buy is because we can have him for free next season, so there is no need to panic buy him; our squad will do just as well without him for a year, we aren’t Real Madrid or Barca who can just throw money away
            – Fabregas i would love to have
            – I would also like to have Sissoko
            – I wouldent mind Brozovic
            – i didnt know N’Zonzi was a target…wouldn’t mind him…i prefer him over Gustavo
            – I would not like to have Gustavo

            that’s my order of favorability from the list you presented, but from other rumors my top 3 preferred players would be

            – Tielemans..
            – Neves
            – Herrera

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            Papilaya(John)™★★★ August 30, 2016 at 5:19 pm

            Wy now and not then? Well because we re in quite the need for a physical presece in our midfield. Khedira and Marchisio are both “Markers” and players who read the game rather than those hard tackling players.

            Plus, we have the funds. Marotta doesnt have to be stingy anymore

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      Jas August 30, 2016 at 12:51 pm

      Witsel is very classy!! trust me mate!! We are getting another major bargain at $15million. As far as Tielemans, I’ve read another article yesterday stating Juve are offering around 15mill for him………. not true how it is, it was in french and written yesterday.

      • Avatar
        Gerald Quinn August 30, 2016 at 5:04 pm

        lol I dont really hate Witsel i prefer him a million times over than Luis Gustavo…from what i have seen he seems like an ok to maybe good player (haven’t seen to much aside from a BelgianMNT game here and there) the reason why i completely oppose Juve buying Witsel is because he can come for free next season…..even 15M isnt pocket change…it makes no sense, our team is strong enough to go well into the next transfer season, while being leaders in Serie A and having well advanced the group stages of the CL with the squad we currently have…There is no need for someone new, or a panic buy.

        Idk ive never read anything about juve making a bid for Neves or Tielemans…or even Herrera and Fabregas…they all seem to be rumors and fantasies

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    VonKellef August 29, 2016 at 7:12 pm

    I hope that this turns out to be just another rumor when the transfer window close. Honestly I don’t know much about this player, and that is not what I am basing this opinion on. He has about 1 year left on his contract and if he wanted PL money he could have joined Everton a couple of weeks ago. If it is only Juventus he wants to join, I don’t know but I am not that naive that I will tell my self that. If he joins us I hope that it is for a steal price or for free. He is not worth anything above 10-12m at the moment. Also if he is cup tied and can’t participate in the CL because of the fact that Zenit plays in EL then that is another reason for us to not sign him until he is a free agent.

    This seems like a desperate signing. I think that the biggest mistake leading Marotta to this is when he went out in the media and spoke out about our mercato. I say like I have always done. Don’t say a word about players going in or out. Just post a video,picture and statement when the deal is 100% done. Spare us of the Gianluca Di Marzio crap.

    Yesterday I watched glimpses of Athletico Bilbao vs. FC Barcelona. A player sitting on the bench for most part of the game that I think would have been the perfect missing piece in our puzzle is Mascherano. Such a shame Barcelona was unwilling to sell him to us.

    Keeping my fingers crossed that we don’t do anything stupid coming these two last days of the mercato.

    • Avatar
      Dar Black August 29, 2016 at 9:22 pm

      Agreed, there was and has been an increase in the talk from Beppe about our transfer plans. He used to keep quiet(er) about it, and should revert back to that until a deal is done.

    • thegutterpoet
      thegutterpoet August 29, 2016 at 10:41 pm

      I do not believe is it naive to assume that we have an agreement with Witsel for now or next Summer. He wants to move to a stronger club, improve his chance of competing for top honours. It is reasonable to assume we could have been the strongest club to show serious interest (we have been following him for at least 18 months, possibly longer) and if Zenith won’t sell he can earn good money, play Champions League and move to us for free next season. or Zenith can decide to sell him at a cut price (Now or in the Winter…less money but he will be cup tied so less valuable for the remainder of the season for any team still in the CL). Koeman was prepared to pay 25m for him and the dutch master is far from a poor judge of player…He seems far more a natural fit for both Pogba’s CML role and also the DM role than anyone else in our squad, except Marchisio. I doubt his resale value would be less than what we would pay…Worth a roll of the dice…And our interest is not sudden.


      • Avatar
        VonKellef August 29, 2016 at 11:03 pm

        Let’s say our options are only the following two, Blaise Matuidi or Axel Witsel. Which one would you pick and why?

        Read reports today(yes they are rumors but rumors are the only thing that we can get our hands on) saying that Blaise is pushing for a move because of the lack of playing time he has been given since the change on the bench. Surely Emery will fancy his player from Sevilla that he brought with him(Krychowiak) but it is a odd move. Just like with Mascherano at Barcelona. First you block the move, then you sign a new contract with the player and suddenly the playing time drops.

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          Papilaya(John)™★★★ August 30, 2016 at 1:39 am

          Gotta go with the afro

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            VonKellef August 30, 2016 at 10:47 pm

            I’ll vote for you John if you promise me he will be a better Belgian than Fellaini?

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            Papilaya(John)™★★★ August 30, 2016 at 11:42 pm

            Umm i promise :p

        • thegutterpoet
          thegutterpoet August 30, 2016 at 2:47 am

          Matuidi is pricey but seems a technically superior Asamoah, whereas Witsel – I believe – offers more muscle, aerial prowess and intelligence on the ball from deep. The Belgian also has stronger resale value if he fails to shine and would come on the cheap.And so it seems hustle, stamina, pace versus muscle, stronger technique on the ball, ability to affect tempo and disturb attacking patters of an opponent.

          I feel we need the latter more than the former…

          • Avatar
            VonKellef August 30, 2016 at 10:53 pm

            I’ll take your word for it as I have not seen much from the Belgian except from the latest euros. And that is not much to go on.

            What we need in the midfield is what you are describing. Muscles from Brussels (would love to have Jean Claude Van Damme in the team) combined with intelligence. That is all that is missing.

            Trequartista if that is needed we can put in Pjanic or maybe try Pjaca. He didn’t play for long against Lazio but I like the fact that he wasn’t shy. Dribbled his opponent and went straight for goal.

    • Avatar
      BelgianJuventino August 30, 2016 at 11:53 am

      Witsel isnt all that bad, it would be weird for me to see a Belgian at Juve, but he is a decent player. He did well at every club he played for

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    BelgianJuventino August 30, 2016 at 11:51 am

    What the heck, the Lega is apparently changing the Sassuolo win over Pescara into a 3-0 win for Pescara because Sassuolo fielded a player in the last 20mins whose administration wasnt properly done (yet).

    What a load of crap!

  • Avatar
    Jas August 30, 2016 at 12:49 pm

    At 15 million I think it is a very good deal, we esentially get a Vidal in his prime with allot of gas left in the tank. I really like Witsel but going out of our way and paying 25 million for him when we could possibly get him for free next year is bad business. At $15 we arent really spending allot, he is a classy player. In terms of skills I believe he is an upgrade over Asamoah in every category except maybe speed. Much better on the ball, in the air and allot stronger. At 27 we get a player in his prime, a touch below world class but perhaps we can turn him in to WC.

    • Avatar
      BelgianJuventino August 30, 2016 at 12:56 pm

      The only thing that bothers me about Witsel is how long it sometimes takes for him to decide what to do with the ball. At least when he plays for Belgium, I don’t follow him in his club games.

      Besides that, he’s a decent and capable player, not really a game decider or anything like that, but he gets the job done.

      • Avatar
        Papilaya(John)™★★★ August 30, 2016 at 5:16 pm

        All ive seen of him is youtube clips…

        It *seems* hes strongbwith shielding the ball and is an obvious physical present.

        If his physical presence is greater than Pogbas, then this would be one hell of a signing. We have Khedira, Marchisio, and Pjanic who can take care of the on the ball work. Khedira and Marchisio, are both far superior than Pogba when comes to intelligence on the ball, and decision making. If we give Witsel a “Gattuso” like role where he mostly wins the ball, dominates players in the middle and quickly gives the ball to Khedira or Marchiso, we have one hell of a midfield combination

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          BelgianJuventino August 30, 2016 at 6:59 pm

          In my eyes, Witsel is similar to Khedira in a lot of ways. Muscular, but not bullish. Physically strong and strong in the air, with good ability to recover and protect the ball.

          Khedira is more offensive whereas Witsel is more regista-ish.

          Witsel is more technically gifted than Gattuso was and Gattuso was far meaner and more of a fighter than Witsel is. I wouldnt really compare the two.

          If anything, I would say Witsel is something of a Khedira and Marchisio blending.

          • Avatar
            Papilaya(John)™★★★ August 30, 2016 at 10:29 pm

            Hmm i guess using Gattuso was a poor example haha. Im assuming hes a ball winner with his size and a stromg tackler. But again ive never seen him play. I love his afro tho :p

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            BelgianJuventino August 31, 2016 at 5:08 am

            Just sharing my view on him eh! He is, just not the way Gattuso was 😛

            He is the small afro, Fellaini the big afro xD

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            Papilaya(John)™★★★ August 31, 2016 at 7:43 am

            No youre right :p witsel is no Gattuso. Was too lazy to think of a similar player

            I like witsel way better than fallaini. Idk what it is i dint like about fellaini. Hes a decemt player i guess haha, But wotsel is way better

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            BelgianJuventino August 31, 2016 at 7:45 am

            Agree on that, I prefer Witsel over fellaini any day. Fellaini is too inconsistent for me

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            Papilaya(John)™★★★ August 31, 2016 at 7:47 am

            Not just inconsistency, but fellaini doesnt really do much :p he makes a simple pass then runs forward haha. Witsel at least passes the ball around, makes short runs into space. Takes advantage of his size and is defensively solid(watched like 2 belgium games today on youtube :p). Messi struggled to pass him hehe. And youre, he does have an extremely cool head.

          • Avatar
            BelgianJuventino August 31, 2016 at 7:49 am

            Haha, now you are legitimately an expert on Belgian football! Yeah Fellaini is rather boring, all he gets used for is to be a physical presence and use his afro to score headers xD

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      Papilaya(John)™★★★ August 30, 2016 at 5:17 pm

      Hes nowhere near Vidals level :p never seen witsel, but i believe thats safe to say

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        BelgianJuventino August 31, 2016 at 5:27 am

        Vidal is way better indeed. The only thing I can think of is that Witsel is mentally stronger, he doesnt lose his cool, whatever the game

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          Papilaya(John)™★★★ August 31, 2016 at 7:41 am

          Witsel is also stronger, but thats it. Never really praised Vidal during his time here, but the guy is a warrior

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            BelgianJuventino August 31, 2016 at 7:44 am

            Dont know if he is stronger too, but possibly so. Witsels stats are rather good too though

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    BelgianJuventino August 30, 2016 at 3:14 pm

    Pff, Cuadrado close to a return on loan with obligation to buy and Lichtsteiner close to an exit, if not now than possibly he walks away as a free agent after this season.

    Not the kind of news that makes one happy.

    • Avatar
      VonKellef August 30, 2016 at 10:45 pm

      The Cuadrado price seems a bit high. So I don’t know about that.

      Lichsteiner may be a fan favorite of ours. But maybe it is time to change the right flank. He is good at defending but I think that he isn’t as good in the offense. It’s the other way around with Dani Alves in my opinion. Will just have to wait and see. The window will close in a coupple of hours and if the Cuadrado deal goes through,well that will certainly indicate even less time for our Swiss Army Man.

      • Avatar
        BelgianJuventino August 31, 2016 at 5:26 am

        Its a 5mill loan deal with an obligated 20mill buy if he plays X amount of games.

        That is what I dont understand, we have Alves who is good at attacking and bad at defending, Cuadrado is exactly the same. There is no defensive option without Lichtsteiner.

        Leave Cuadrado at Chelsea and keep Lichty here 🙁

        Especially since his main suitor is fucking Inter…