Juve’s pre-season preparations have officially begun. The squad left Vinovo this morning and arrived in Bardonecchia just past 3pm.
Antonio Conte’s first training session (images) is to take place at 5pm.
The mercato is still far from closed, but I am quite satisfied with our acquisitions thus far. Lichtsteiner and Pirlo are players that will certainly improve the team, and Ziegler and Pazienza are, worse case scenario, competent reserves. Very pleased to see them there. A few notes on the ritiro thus far:
-The Mysterious Object known as Mohamed Sissoko has been left at Vinovo, officially to continue his rehab training program, but still suggests towards his exist.
-Fabio Grosso despite having a decent second half of the campaign is not with the club, as he decides where to finish out his career. Hopefully not at Juve.
-Albin Ekdal has not been called up, and there are rumors that he'll be moving soon to Siena or Cesena. Really? I mean, he can play a more important role there then he did 2 years ago at Siena, but that does not seem like progression to me after a good season at Bologna.
-Sergio Almiron is not surprisingly nowhere to be seen, as despite signing him for 1 euro, the club will be selling him as soon as possible.
-Tiago is also absent. Good.
-Iago Falque was surprisingly not signed (yet) by Villarreal, and Udinese considered him in the Sanchez deal before deciding to sell him to Barcelona.
-Manuel Giandonato is still searching for a club, and rumors state that Juventus will only let him leave on loan.
-Cristian Pasquato is in the same case as Giandonato.
-Ciro Immobile is in the same boat as the above two as well as a handful of ex-Primavera players like Boniperti and Constantino looking at Serie B clubs-ish.
Of those called up:
-Manninger- I would have bet massive amounts of money that his contract expires, but he's there, and I found a few sites saying that he's actually under contract until next year. Did he extend by one year at some point, or did we give him a 4 year contract that long ago?
-Simone Pepe gets the #7, Forest Gump is wearing #26, Andrea Pirlo has the #21 for which Zdenek Grygera has moved to #23. Ziegler has chosen #16 for now, Pazienza is wearing lucky #14, and Sorensen is wearing #33.
-I will be deeply disappointed if Pepe stays with #7, that's an important number. Amauri hasn't been assigned a shirt number though his agent and himself are claiming he wants to fight for his spot at Juve, the #11 is still currently open. The Swiss Guard chose somewhat odd numbers, but well, with them combined, we have the meaning of life.
-Marco Motta was called up. No comment.