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Since Cristiano Ronaldo’s recruitment of Real Madrid in July 2018 for £ 99.2 million, there has been a clear search for stellar talent to help Juventus become European champions.
That move to sign one of the world’s best and most marketable players was an important part of a journey they hope will make them the best team on the field and the biggest club outside of it, by 2024.
His signings in recent times have been bold and show different aspects of his power. Last summer, they signed Matthijs de Ligt from Ajax, beating players like Barcelona for their signature, proving that they could attract the world’s best emerging talent, as well as an established superstar like Ronaldo.
And now we’ve seen your search for Arthur Melo from Barcelona, which is up-to-date evidence that they can also remove key players, who are not yet at their prime, from yet another superclub.
At the time of writing, the deal was not closed, but Juve had to be smart to sign Arthur, taking a slightly different approach from the past two years.
They have not worried about their approach to spending so far. Joao Cancelo, Douglas Costa and Leonardo Bonucci were also signed in the summer of 2018 for a combined fee of around £ 104 million.
The following summer they presented another £ 169.65 million in transfer agreements for De Ligt, Danilo, Cristian Romero, Luca Pellegrini and Merih Demiral. On top of all that, free agents Aaron Ramsey, Adrien Rabiot and Gianluigi Buffon signed with big contracts. And in January, they sealed a £ 31.5 million deal for 20-year-old Dejan Kulusevski of Atalanta.
Suddenly, however, the Italian champions are having to curb their enthusiasm for signing large sums of money.
The impact of COVID-19 will be felt strongly in Turin, and sources say the lack of incoming revenue has prompted the club to think more carefully about how they balance the books. Big fees are a problem, and so are the high wages they have been distributing.
The simple solution is that Juve will seek to sell to buy. And as part of that, the big names can go, with Gonzalo Higuaín and Miralem Pjanic among the most prominent figures available.
The stages are already opening for this summer, and B / R sources have confirmed that Higuaín could be one of those, and ideally he would be replaced by the Napoli forward Arkadiusz Milik. Pjanic, as we know, has been in talks about the Barcelona exchange with Arthur for weeks.
But others are also available, with Costa, Ramsey, Rabiot and Daniele Rugani not knowing what their future is.
Juve was smart in the way they approached the deal for Arthur. They took their assessment, then Pjanic’s, and they agree to pay the difference.
Sources say Juve will continue to view such deals as a way to capture prime targets. And it shouldn’t surprise us if, at some point, they look at Paul Pogba again.
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It is still seen as the signing dreamed of by some at the club, and it is an agreement in which several sources are convinced that they will continue working. There is an acceptance that it will not work unless Manchester United is accommodating and the player himself is eager for it to happen.
But one scenario that could work is a swap deal, and the idea of a trade with Ramsey has been raised previously, sources say. At this stage, there is no movement.
A look at other names linked to Juve – think Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Arsenal – suggests that the path to bigger signings may also be coming. Although sources have been interested in downplaying that particular link, they emphasize that Milik is the primary target.
It is the coach Maurizio Sarri who has the vision of Milik leading his front line, and although his first year in charge of the club has not been easy, we should expect him to continue in the next term.
The club is on the way to the Serie A title and is still in this season’s UEFA Champions League, so Sarri has some room to breathe despite fans not being completely convinced by what they’ve seen so far. .
Rav Dhillon of the JuveFC.com blog told B / R: “Sarri has not yet really beaten the fans. Many expected the kind of football we saw in Napoli, combined with trophies. That has collapsed, in part because Sarri doesn’t really bond with his team, but also because management has booked the players they value, rather than signing players who fit in with Sarri’s ideas on how he wants to play soccer.
“I don’t think they will loot him, but in that case, they need to back him up. If he can reverse the Champions League deficit against Lyon [the French team are 1-0 up after the first leg of the round-of-16 tie] and winning the title, beating Inter along the way, I think it will somehow restore faith and buy him some time to better implement his ideas with a new crop of players, especially the midfielders. “
Midfield is an area that Sarri is used to being examined. At Chelsea, he took great advantage of his signing of Jorginho and the way he adapted to the team. Now, unsurprisingly, the player is being linked with a move to Juve. For this to happen, Juve will try to send a player in the other direction, according to the one entry and one exit system that they will now have to use.
COVID-19’s impact is a test for Juve in its grand plan to dominate European football.
When they decided to increase the money spent on the team in 2019, it was taking into account that catching up with Real Madrid, Barcelona and Manchester United off the field. But it was also with the goal of winning the Champions League for the first time since 1996.
Juventus will continue to strive for greatness on and off the field. They only have to slightly alter their way of landing the targets that will take them there.