Sassuolo confirm Juventus' interest in striker Domenico Berardi

Maurizio Lagana

Why? Because Beppe Marotta loves him some young strikers, that's why.

One of the staples of the Beppe Marotta era at Juventus is to not only buy for the season that's looking the squad right in the face, but to also invest for the future with some of Italy's better young talents. After buying a pair of Under-21 Italy internationals, it doesn't look like Juve's director general is going to change things up any time soon.

Well, maybe down an age group in Italy's youth setup, but that's just nitpicking.

Highly-rated Sassuolo striker Domenico Berardi seems to be the next youngster up on Marotta's shopping list, according to Football Italia on Monday. If you're too lazy to click on the link, here is the nuts and bolts of it:

Newly promoted Sassuolo have confirmed Juventus are interested in signing young forward Domenico Berardi.

"Juventus are the side who are closest to him right now," Sassuolo sporting director Nereo Bonato told Tuttosport.

"However, at this moment in time, they are working on other transfer matters. We'll see where we are at the start of July."

...

"It would do Domenico well to stay at Sassuolo for another season," Bonato added. "However, he certainly has important qualities and a future with a top outfit."

I'm going to "other transfer matters" as trying to sign somebody like Gonzalo Higuain, Stevan Jovetic or Carlos Tevez. Not something that has been made known to the public, but it's pretty easy to understand what Juve's No. 1 priority at this point in time is. Or, at least, that's what I'm hoping is the case.

But back to Berardi, who found the back of the net 11 times last season in Serie B (and was profiled by Jose two weeks earlier when it seemed like Juve first had interest in the striker).

Adding a player Berardi, much in the same fashion as Juve did with Manolo Gabbiadini and Nicola Leali a summer ago, is what Marotta has done extremely well since he came to Juventus. He's not afraid to spend a little chunk of money, loan the player out for a year or two and allow them to develop. There's no word as to whether it will be a deal where Juve buy him outright and loan him straight back to Sassuolo or co-ownership a la Gabbiadini with Atalanta.

Either way, adding a highly-rated striker who doesn't turn 19 years old until the beginning of August isn't the worst investment for the future Juve have (potentially) done.

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