Juventus sign Carlos Tévez, Stevan Jovetic watches

Gabriele Maltinti

Juventus have been linked with Montenegrin starlet Stevan Jovetic for more than a year now. What could happen to this interest now that Juve have secured El Apache?

Beppe Marotta is not a shy director general. When he was interested in Sergio Aguero, the world knew about it; when he was interested in Robin van Persie, the world knew about it; and when he was interested in Edin Dzeko, the world knew about it. By the same token, his interest in Gonzalo Higuain, Stevan Jovetic, and Carlos Tévez has not gone unnoticed. With Higuain likely moving to Arsenal, and with Tévez's deal done and dusted, it leaves our favorite Montenegrin all alone in the cold and looking for shelter.

Jovetic's desire to move away from Florence this summer is well documented. Even before his interview was published in Gazzetta dello Sport a few weeks ago, he was rumored to want out. After his interview, the writing was on the wall. Jovetic's desire for a move stems from his desire to win silverware and make a name for himself. Moreover, his interview strongly suggested that the Montenegrin will favor a move to the Old Lady — albeit he said that he would be open to moving to England. Chelsea, Manchester City, and Arsenal are the three English clubs who have expressed interest. All of those clubs will guarantee a jump in quality but none of them could guarantee the amount of top-flight exposure that the Old Lady could provide.

After a month and a half of rumors from English clubs looking at Jovetic, none of them have picked up steam. After replacing Roberto Mancini with Manual Pellegrini, Manchester City's interest in the player has decreased significantly. Arsenal was already rejected by the Montenegrin once and has moved on to spend close to €30 million on Higuain. Although this does not preclude further interest in the Montenegrin, it is likely to decrease the cost of the player in the Gunner's eyes. Chelsea's interest at the moment doesn't appear to be more than media speculation.

Playing for Juve, the Montenegrin will be second choice only to Carlos Tévez, likely fighting for a starting spot with Llorente. And that is only in the case that Juve play with two strikers next season. Should Conte decide to move to a three striker formation as the season progresses, the Montenegrin is likely to be one of the first names on the team-sheet. With this in mind, I would argue that even with the Tévez purchase, Jovetic has Juve at the top of his list.

But what about the Old Lady?

I don't think Marotta has forgotten about "Juvetic." On the contrary, the move for Tévez makes Marotta's hand that much stronger, while weakening Della Valle's one.

With no strong interest from abroad, and with Tévez in the bag, Della Valle has to start to recognize that this is a losing battle. On the one hand, Fiorentina could continue to demand 30m and force the player to stay — no club will pay €30 million for an injury prone player no matter how promising he is. If this is the case, mark my words, Jovetic will leave Florence next year for a fee of less than 15m after having one of the worst seasons of his career. Not to mention, this will likely mean losing Adem Ljajic on a bosman next year. On the other hand, Fiorentina could sell to Juve for around €20 million, including player(s), of course. This would allow them to strengthen their squad and receive some needed cash. However, Juve's willingness to pay will decrease with time, and by August there will be fewer players to offer to Fiorentina. In short, the longer Della Valle waits, the more money he will loose, and the fewer options he will have.

With that being said, I think Beppe's focus will shift to selling rather than buying. For reasons I have made clear before, Juventus would be foolish to buy before selling. As it stands, Conte will have six strikers at his disposal come July 12: Fernando Llorente, Mirko Vucinic, Alessandro Matri, Fabio Quagliarella, Manolo Gabbiadini, and Tévez, with Sebastian Giovinco arriving late due to his participation in the Confederations Cup. Adding one more would be simply too many. This problem will be solved if Juventus can include a striker in the Jovetic deal (in the case of Gabbiadini it would be half a striker).

I strongly believe that Jovetic has not been forgotten by the management. The Tévez deal will shift the management focus towards selling, but Marotta will keep an eye on Florence (no pun intended) until September 2nd. The Tévez deal however, strengthens Marotta's position and shifts pressure onto Fiorentina. La Viola now have to decide how much are they willing to loose. After seeing what happened with Llorente and Athletic Bilbao, La Viola should recognize that Beppe Marotta can outlast the most stubborn of directors and come on top.

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