Beppe Marotta has been down this road before. It may not be a well-traveled one compared to others that have been Juventus' transfer chiefs in the past — maybe not with somebody like Stevan Jovetic — but going after a big-name striker and trying to bring him to Turin isn't something Marotta can say he hasn't done in the past.
Some would say that Marotta "isn't able to sign the big fish" because the Juventus roster has been devoid of that truly great forward the squad has called out for since Antonio Conte took over. Others say, "Juventus just doesn't want to pay the big bucks for a world-class striker."
I say this: Beppe Marotta needs to avoid what has happened to him with his top targets in the past — long, drawn-out negotiations that don't only span weeks, but months. We've done that dance. It's a long and confusing one. I don't want to really travel it again, and neither should Marotta, for his own sake and the benefit of the club.
Yet I sit here on the first day of June writing all of this out, how things are genuinely going are just about anybody's guess right now. And trust me, the Italian press are certainly guessing.
...OR ARE THEY?
There was this on Tuesday:
GdS: Jovetic has agreed to Juventus' contract offer of €4 mill + bonus for 5 years. Now Juventus has to negotiate with Fiorentina.— Hashim ³¹ (@Hashim0307) May 28, 2013
And then this on Wednesday:
Tomorrow's GdS: Juve's offer for Jovetic is €18 mill + Luca Marrone. The agent will present the offer to Fiorentina on Friday.— Hashim ³¹ (@Hashim0307) May 29, 2013
And then there's Thursday's report:
Juventus close to signing Jovetic for €12 mill + Quagliarella and half of Marrone, according to Sportmediaset.— Hashim ³¹ (@Hashim0307) May 30, 2013
Speculation? Probably. Any of it legit? Who knows.
Like I've said before, it's Italy and almost everything coming out in the papers these days must be taken with some kind of skepticism. All of this certainly goes against the notion that Fiorentina want nothing but stacks of money for the Montenegrin striker, but it's something that could get Juve closer to a deal.
What we do know for sure is what Marotta come and said on Friday to SKY Italia, stating "we have not begun talks" when it comes to a Jovetic transfer, one of the first definitive words we've heard from Juventus' director general when it comes to negotiations — or lack of — with Fiorentina.
Regardless, Marotta's first summer dealings — co-ownership deals with Udinese for both Kwadwo Asamoah and Mauricio Isla — were basically done this time last summer. After Asamoah and Isla arrived in Turin, Sebastian Giovinco was brought back to the club he started at just a few days later. It might not have been to the same level of difficulty as trying to sign somebody like Jovetic, but the wheels were certainly in motion once the beginning of June rolled around and the transfer season really kicked up.
We hear about all these numbers (the word out of the Viola camp is that Jovetic's price still hovers around €30 million and they're not budging any time soon) and possible player exchanges happening, something might actually stick and be the truth. And Lord knows somebody like Marrone could benefit from a move like this that could very well mean regular playing time both domestically and in Europe.
Yet the longer this gets drawn out, the longer there's no "OFFICIALLY OFFICIAL: Stevan Jovetic signs with Juventus" being posted on this here space of the internet and the longer we wonder whether Marotta will be able to close the deal. That, in turn, will continue the notion that Beppe can't land the big fish, only to begin the summer with sights set on a quality striker and end it with Nicklas Bendtner.
Wait, that already happened.
All of the above certainly isn't the end to all of this Jovetic talk. Heck, it could be getting started for all we know. However, if this is still going for weeks on end, I don't know what to think of everything — good or bad. Then again, that's why they that call negotiating. And to some, that's what Marotta still needs to prove he can do the job at a club like Juventus.
There's still a long way to go in this summer's transfer business. But just for once, a striker-related transfer saga wouldn't be something I'd like to hear about.