In an effort to cut back on the meaningless and pointless transfer titbits and soundbites that often appear during the summer, here’s a brief recap of the week in black and white.
The transfer window hasn’t even opened yet, but that hasn’t stopped the inane and idiotic headlines from appearing all over the place. My personal favourite popped up yesterday, linking Manchester United with a €100m bid for our very own Paul Pogba – Where did they come by their information? Something the player had said? A statement from either club? No, it came from a ‘source’. Not just any ‘source’ but a ‘club source’. I don’t know about you, but i’m not totally convinced.
Perhaps there might be something to it, or perhaps, indeed, ESPN and others have their own reasons for publishing stuff like this. Even at this early stage, patience is sorely tested and my interest is beginning to wane. Instead, I’ve decided to divert my energy and endeavour into providing a more accurate and informed weekly update of all things ‘Black and White’ for your reading [dis]pleasure.
Simone Zaza: ‘I’m staying at Juventus’
This is the kind of stuff I like. Players that say what they mean, and mean what they say. Simone Zaza tells La Stampa how it is:
“Have I ever thought about leaving Juventus? No, not even in January. I want to stay at Juventus. I struggled a lot, because Juve is a team full of great players. But I always just put my head down and pedalled harder. I’m not someone who gives up easily. I always trained well, with the aim of getting onto the pitch. The Premier League? Honestly, the Premier League fascinates me, but I want to affirm myself in Italy. And besides, as far as I know Juventus don’t want to sell me.”
Pretty safe to say that the player has no desire to leave the club and he’ll be in the squad for next season….unless Juve do decide to sell him…..or he might do a ‘Vidal’……. Nah Simone’s not like that.
Agent: “Juventus have scouted Gabriel”
Another story with some actual substance to it: Christian Simoes, agent of Gabriel Jesus confirms that Juve are indeed interested in his client.
“Juventus have scouted Gabriel, I can confirm that. Bayern Munich have taken steps too, they’re another big club that is interested in Gabriel. Both have made moves, but there hasn’t been an official offer from either Bayern Munich or Juventus. I’ve read a lot of rumours, but we’re waiting for real offers and then we’ll see, because for Palmeiras it’d be worth a lot. Would he like Juventus? They’re one of the world’s top clubs, who wouldn’t? The same for Bayern Munich, they’re fantastic teams. We’ll wait for offers and see what happens though.”
Whatever comes of it, at least we know that the interest is real and Juventus are in the hunt, although the supposed €40 million release cause is a pretty steep.
Miralem Pjanic – Juventus bound
It’s difficult to assess the Pjanic move, mainly because there’s been no ‘official’ talk from either of the clubs or the player himself, but i suppose that’s only to be expected in a deal of this magnitude. As such, social media went into meltdown on Wednesday night when it was reported that Juventus had paid the buy-out clause for the Bosnian….but since then, it’s all been a little quiet. The last time the story was reported with this level of furore, Roma were quick to deny the rumours. This time round, the Giallorossi have been all too quiet, however Roma President James Pallotta was none too pleased to be accosted by journalists who were anxious to find out more about the supposed transfer:
The usual reputable sources such as Sky Italia and GdS have spoken of the deal as all but complete, however last night Di Marzio reported the transfer was not yet 100% due to various issues with how the payment would be structured, the specific figures etc. This morning’s CdS and GdS insist the deal will go ahead while La Repubblica suggest the announcement will take place next week.
What can we make of all this? Not a great deal. Despite the positive indicators, there’s still potential for this to become another Draxler-gate. For now, we’ll have to sit-tight, enjoy the start of the EURO’s, and hope for some official news in the coming days.
Alvaro Morata: “I feel at home at Juventus”
A fortnight ago, we were convinced Morata had played his final game for Juventus – There was that interview in which he talked about returning to Madrid as what he wanted most, then came some backtracking…..and now there’s a little more ambiguity – In his latest press conference, Alvaro said the following:
“I’m very calm, because I have a contract with Juve and I feel at home there. At the moment I belong to Juve until someone tells me otherwise. Now I’m thinking about the European Championships, a very important tournament for me and my teammates.”
It’s difficult to get any kind of read on the situation, given that Morata doesn’t seem to know where his future lies. Juve director Beppe Marotta spoke about the buyback clause that Real Madrid retain on the player. On 24th May, Beppe said he expected the matter would be resolved within 10-14 days – While that time frame seems to have elapsed, we do know that negotiations are expected to take place soon.
“We have talked with Florentino Perez, but anything regarding Morata has been postponed until next week,” Marotta told Sky Sport Italia on 30th May
“There has only been a meeting to clarify things, so we will now assess what to do. With Morata the ball is in Real Madrid’s court. His desire is to remain with us and this is a source of pride, but we have to see what Real want.”
Sounds like the ball is in Real Madrid’s court – Once again, we’ll just have to wait and see. Marotta is apparently on his way to Madrid next week…..
€100m for Pogba – €120m for Pogba – and on and on it goes…
We all knew it was coming, but did we expect it to arrive so soon? Of course we did. Mediaset report that Real Madrid bid €120m for Paul Pogba while ESPN say Manchester United are ready to make an equally substantial bid. With Marotta expected to be in Madrid next week, I’m almost certain we’ll get a whole plethora of newspaper headlines telling us that Real will pay millions for our midfield star; Despite the locations for Pogba’s future ranging from PSG to Barcelona and everything in-between, the one constant has been Beppe Marotta, who has repeated time and time again that Pogba is not leaving:
“Pogba leaving Juventus? It’s not happening. We’ll keep him” [Marotta to RAI, 9th June]
EURO 2016 kicks off with France v Romania later tonight and we can be certain of 2 things: (1) Expect a big showing from our Polpo – (2) Expect plenty of nonsensical headlines with inflated figures to appear in the papers tomorrow morning.
Other Juventus news in brief…
- Juventus have announced they will play a friendly in Hong Kong against South China AA on July 30 – Tickets go on sale on June 23.
- Sky Sport Italia say Juve will sell Roberto Pereyra to Watford for €13.5m.
- Stephan Lichtsteiner has been linked with a move to Chelsea in recent weeks. The player had this to say about a possible transfer: “I do not close the door to anything but I’m a Juve player”
- Despite Beppe Marotta confirming that Domenico Berardi will join Juventus, the players agent has continued to deny that any deal is in place: “So far we haven’t had meetings with Juventus either, as all I can say right now is Domenico is a Sassuolo player”
- Despite Dani Alves confirming that he’ll be joining Juventus, there’s been no official announcement from the club yet. Sky Sport Italia suggest that Alves won’t be unveiled until after the Copa America.
- EURO 2016 starts tonight and Juventus are well represented:
— Juvefc.com (@juvefcdotcom) June 1, 2016
Thats all for now – If there’s anything you’d like us to cover, please leave a comment below and we’ll aim to include it in next weeks roundup. As always, your continued support for the website is greatly appreciated.