What a week it’s been – Miralem Pjanic has joined Juventus, Dani Alves is expected in Turin very soon and Italy have qualified for the last 16 of Euro 2016 with a game to spare!
Following on from the previous edition, I’ve tried to put together a ‘brief’ roundup of all the important Juventus news from the last week [11th-19th June] – As always, I value your feedback and comments, so please do take a moment to post your thoughts below. Without further ado, let’s jump right in with the most important news story of the last week…..
Official – Miralem Pjanic joins Juventus
I can honestly say I’m still in disbelief over this transfer – Juventus confirmed the signing of Miralem Pjanic last Monday with the appropriate degree of fanfare, beginning with his medical, followed by a swift tour of the JMuseum and rightly finished off with an official presentation at the Juventus stadium and this official statement:
“Juventus Football Club S.p.A. announces that the agreement with A.S. Roma S.p.A. for the definitive acquisition of the registration rights of the player Miralem Pjanic has been finalized. The consideration for the acquisition is € 32 million. This acquisition will generate economic and financial effects starting from 2016/2017 sportive season. Juventus and the player have signed a 5-year contract of employment”
It’s a remarkable signing for a number of reasons – The club managed to secure a star player from a direct rival, a midfielder who enjoyed his best season at Roma to date, not to mention his versatility in being able to play in a number of midfield roles, a point Max Allegri was quick to highlight when asked about the signing:
“Pjanic’s arrival is that of a major player,” Allegri told Sky.
“He gives us a lot of solutions, especially on set pieces. He improves the quality of our midfield, something that isn’t easy for a great team like Juventus. Pjanic is one of the few players who can do it. Now it’s up to us to give him the best conditions to express himself. He can play in front of the defence, but also in the middle or at trequartista. I’m pleased the club made such an effort to get him.”
Hats off to Beppe and Fabio on a perfect start to this years mercato.
Alvaro Morata – ‘I’d be sad to leave Juventus’
Another week, another brief soundbite from Morata. It’s a strange situation in that Alvaro has seemingly gone from wanting to remain in Turin, to pushing for a return to Madrid….and now coming full circl, professing his desire to remain Juve….sort of. What’s the one common thread in all the interviews he’s given ? His future is not in his hands and he’s waiting to be told where he’ll be plying his trade, come August (or sooner). Surely he has some say in where he wants to be playing next season? Doesn’t his voice count in any of this? I’ve given up trying to understand his motivations – Here’s his latest interview to Gazzetta Dello Sport:
“I heard from my agent and he said that the meeting with Real Madrid was purely to discuss Diego Llorente, so they didn’t talk about my situation. I can’t say much to the Juve fans, I’m sorry, but that’s the way it is. I don’t know what the future holds for me. All I can say for certain is that I feel at home with Juventus and thank all the fans who continue to send me kind messages. I have many friends in Turin and clearly I’d be sad to leave. Juve are one of the biggest clubs in Europe and the biggest in Italy. I am happy there and I am really sorry that I cannot say any more on my future, because it’s not up to me. All I can do is continue to wait and do what I am told.”
There have been a number of other reports that tie in directly with this one – Spanish paper ‘AS’ suggest that Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane would prefer to sign Morata and keep him at the club while Telelombardia report that Juve would look at Alexis Sanchez to become Morata’s replacement. Juve were expected to meet with Real at some stage last week, however, Italian transfer journalist Gianluca Di Marzio reported that the meeting had been postponed due to tension between the two clubs.
According to this leaked document, Real Madrid can only exercise the option between July 1st-15th….which means we have we still have at least 4 weeks of speculation and rumours ahead of us….
Dani Alves to undergo Juventus medical on Monday
Catalan newspaper ‘Sport’ suggest that Dani Alves could be in Turin tomorrow to complete his Juventus medical and put pen to paper on a two-year deal. For now, it’s still speculative as there’s been nothing to suggest the deal would be concluded this week. The Italian papers haven’t mentioned anything about Dani being on his way to Italy, so for now, all we can do is wait and see what happens tomorrow (If anything). Moving on….
Domenico Berardi didn’t refuse Juventus….or did he?
Rumours and rumblings midweek suggested that Domenico Berardi would prefer to stay at Sassuolo for another year and help them in their Europa League campaign next season. Sure enough, an official confirmation [of sorts] was given by Sassuolo director of sport Giovanni Carnevali to Sky Sport Italia:
“Domenico never rejected Juventus. He just cares for Sassuolo and this was a decision shared by us, Juventus and the player. We own him and before letting him go, we’ll have to think long and hard. We are in the Europa League preliminary round and want him to face this busy campaign with us.”
Surely that sounds reasonable enough? A young player who has a strong connection and affection for a club where he’s played the last four seasons of his career. It’s only right that he would want to be there for the start of their new European adventure.
Speaking to Mediaset, Max Allegri also confirmed that the move was unlikely to take place this summer:
“I’m sorry that he chose to remain with Sassuolo, but he’s a great player and one day he’ll play for Juventus.”
Meanwhile, in contradiction to Carnevali’s comments, Sassuolo President Giorgio Squinzi reportedly said this to FCInterNews.it:
“I can confirm Berardi refused to join Juventus, so he will stay with us. Could Inter get close to him? No, absolutely not. Domenico will not be going to Inter and it’s not in my intention to sell him to the Nerazzurri.”
It’s difficult to assess the prospects of Berardi ever joining Juventus, especially when the player rarely seems to have anything to say on the matter – What news we do get is through his agent or a Sassuolo director, and it’s rarely clear or concise which is only to be expected during the transfer period. On the plus side, Juventus do still have an option on the player and while it seems he’s been around forever, he’s is only 21 years old and has a long career ahead of him- Perhaps a taste fof European football will whet his appetite for bigger and better things next year.
Simone Padoin to join Cagliari
It was inevitable. In line with the rules regarding team size (as outlined here) Juventus will have to make room for any new signings by reducing their squad . First in line, it seems Simone Padoin is on his way to Cagliari to join up with former Juve goalkeeper, Marco Storari. While it’s not official yet, all the reports in GdS, Sky Sport and various others, suggest that Mr Scudetto himself will be leaving the club here he spent the last five glorious seasons. I will miss him.
Lapadula and Caprari
Juventus are one of a number of Serie A sides hoping to sign Pescara duo Gianluca Caprari and Gianluca Lapadula.
Napoli, Genoa, Juve and Milan are all supposedly interested Lapadula, but Sassuolo may be favourites. Sky Sport Italia report that the young striker [obviously] wants regular football next season and the Neroverdi can offer him this – This could lead to Juve and Sassuolo working together to sign the player, with the Bianconeri retaining an option for a future date.
Meanwhile, Corriere dello Sport report that Juve could sign Caprari and then loan him to either Sassuolo or Empoli for the coming season. CdS also suggest that Pescara would like to sell the midfielder and keep him on loan, however the Bianconeri are unlikely to go for that option.
Euro 2016 – A quick roundup
It’s been a fantastic start to EURO 2016 for Juventus players – Italy have qualified for the last 16 with two wins in two games, the first, a convincing 2-0 victory over Belgium, the second, a patchy performance earning a slender 1-0 win over Sweden, settled by a late Eder winner.
France have also qualified from their group with victories over Albania [2-0] and Romania [2-1], while Lichtsteiner’s Switzerland will need a point against Les Bleus tonight to guarantee a place in the next round, after slumping to a surprising 1-1 draw with Romania in their last match.
Croatia have had a tough time of it, despite their promising start to the competition. A 1-0 scoreline doesn’t do justice to their comprehensive performance against Turkey, but that was marred by crowd trouble in the following game against Czech Republic. Despite leading the game 2-0, Mandzukic and Co took their foot off the gas, allowing the Czech side to get a foothold in the game before levelling the scoreline, right at the death. The Croats will need at least a point against Spain in their final group game to assure progression.
Alvaro Morata missed a host of chances in Spain’s 1-0 victory over the Czech Republic, but he found his form during a 3-0 rout of Turkey, scoring twice in quick succession and looking more like his old self in the process. Spain are through to the last 16 and can top the group with a victory over Croatia.
Sami Khedira was hugely influential in the German midfield during their 2-0 victory over Ukraine. A dogged Poland side snatched a vital point against Germany in a drab 0-0, meaning Die Mannschaft need just a point from their final group game against Northern Ireland to progress to the last 16.
Euro 2016 results involving Juventus players
Friday 10th June: France 2 – 1 Romania
Saturday 11th June: Albania 0 – 1 Switzerland
Sunday 12th June: Turkey 0 – 1 Croatia
Sunday 12th June: Germany 2 – 0 Ukraine
Monday 13th June: Spain 1 – 0 Czech Republic
Monday 13th June: Italy 2 – 0 Belgium
Wednesday 15th June: Romania 1 – 1 Switzerland
Wednesday 15th June: France 2 – 0 Albania
Thursday 16th June: Germany 0 – 0 Poland
Friday 17th June: Italy 1 – 0 Sweden
Friday 17th June: Czech Republic 2 – 2 Croatia
Friday 17th June: Spain 3 – 0 Turkey [Morata x 2]
Alvaro opens the scoring for Spain in their 3-0 victory over Turkey
Bonucci’s brilliance in Italy’s 2-0 win over Belgium – Masterclass
Other Juventus news in brief
- Juventus have reportedly signed an exclusive licensing deal with global sports media company IMG, which will represent the club in in Japan, China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Australia and New Zealand. Read more about it here.
— Soccerex (@Soccerex) June 17, 2016
- Hernanes has rejected a move to China and could stay with Juventus for another season [GdS]
- French side Lyon are interested in signing Kwadwo Asamoah [Sky Sport Italia]
- Juan Cuadrado has no desire to return to Chelsea and will try and stay at Juventus [Sky and GdS]
- Leicester City have made an offer of €12.7m for Mario Lemina [Football Italia]
- Juventus are interested in Marseille striker Michy Batshuayi [Tuttosport]