If you had money on Ciro Immobile being Serie A's leading scorer heading into the final two weeks of the season, then you deserve a pat on the back. This time last season, Immobile was essentially buried on Genoa's bench as they successfully staved relegation to Serie B.
But the thing with Immobile's monster 2013-14 campaign is that it's gotten himself a heckuva lot more attention compared to when the season started. And not just from Juve fans hoping that he would right his career and possibly come back to the black and white side of Turin, but from big boys in Europe as well.
Teams want Immobile's services for next season. Not just any teams, but good teams from abroad.
You don't have to go very far into one of Gianluca Di Marzio's latest updates on the Immobile situation to understand that Borussia Dortmund aren't fooling around with their pursuit of the 24-year-old Italian striker.
Borussia Dortmund is serious about acquiring Ciro Immobile.
Okay, so there's that. Simple as simple gets, I suppose. Another Di Marzio post says the following:
Dortmund and Klopp are hoping the deal gets done, they are willing to raise the offer (20 million euro including bonuses) to make the two clubs happy.
But is possibly selling Immobile such a good thing? Let me put on my journalist hat and investigate...
Pro: It's going to be a nice little profit
I don't care if Juventus are going to have to split the profits with Torino at this point. The rumored prices being thrown out there— which seems to be somewhere around €18 million, give or take a million here or there — is something that didn't seem possible to catch for Immobile a year ago.
The good thing is that Juventus and Torino are in the driver's seat when it comes to Immobile's future. They can try and get Dortmund to pay their desired price — and it appears that BVB are pretty damn determined to get their guy. And if this money goes into, say, the Alexis Sánchez-to-Juventus fund, then I guess it would be a little easier to let go of Ciro.
Con: Can Juventus find another prima punta for the kind of money they'd be getting for Immobile?
Simple answer: I don't know. (Quality analysis, right?)
If Juve are getting around €10 million in the deal like is being thrown out there, that's not exactly a huge wad of cash to try and get somebody who has been arguably the best striker in their league this season. Is it realistic to think Juve can net somebody that is in their mid-20s and starting to really find themselves as a player like Immobile is? Probably not. And that what would make Immobile going to Germany tough to deal with. Sure, the money would be nice, but there's no denying that he would be a pretty helpful piece to puzzle next season if Juve were to bring him back.
Pro: It's the ultimate sell-high situation
This time last year, people were declaring Immobile's monster season at Pescara a one-hit wonder. His season with Genoa was rough. I mean, when you're a talented youngster and you're benched for Marco Borriello, that isn't exactly a ringing endorsement on how the manager feels about you. But this season's huge haul has put Immobile under the spotlight. Like simple stock market logic goes, "You buy low, then you sell high."
Could Immobile's price get even higher? We don't know. And that's why this might be an opportunity that Beppe Marotta feels like he can't pass up if he doesn't think that Immobile will be a part of Juventus' future.
Con: You don't know if this season is just the start of something special
Immobile is 24 years old. That's three years younger than any of Juventus' five current strikers. And as his career path has shown us, when things click like they have this season, goals come in bunches. He did it at Pescara, and now he's doing it with Torino. Dortmund are the kind of club who doesn't chase just anybody. Their transfer strategies are something that a lot of clubs wish they could replicate.
I mean, if Dortmund is putting the full-court press on Juve and Torino to try and sign Immobile, he must be doing something right ... right?
Pro: Juventus have other young strikers they can turn to
If this were a few years ago, losing a talented striker that Juventus owns would be quite a hit. Options were as limited as they've been in quite awhile. But here are a few reasons as to why potentially selling Immobile isn't a be-all, end-all situation: Domenico Berardi. Simone Zaza. Manolo Gabbiadini. Not all of those will pan out and become really good players that Juventus will have on their roster five years from now, but there are options. And having options is clearly better than having nothing at all.
I understand that Immobile is a completely different striker compared to somebody like Berardi or Gabbiadini, but the cupboard isn't bare. Far from it, really. And I feel pretty safe in saying that if this happened, say, four years ago when it was pretty much Giovinco and nobody else rather than this summer, there would be a lot more kicking and screaming about potentially sending Immobile off to Germany. That's what happens when you have options — especially young, talented players at your disposal.
Con: We can't predict the future and say how those young players will actually do at Juventus right now
We're all guilty of buying into hype. It's natural. It's what makes being a fan so much of a roller coaster ride sometimes. Remember when Sebastian Giovinco was supposed to be somebody Juve will be building around for years to come? Yeah, we've been there. There is a lot of hope pinned to the shoulders Berardi in the same way there was when Giovinco was coming through the ranks. A little bit of different circumstances because Juventus aren't in the same kind of situation they were then as they are now, but hype is hype.
These players are talented, no doubt. But as we've learned so many times in the past, talent alone won't help you make it at a club like Juventus. For all the debate as to whether Immobile could make it at Juve, would could probably do the same thing for a number of talented players in their early 20s around Serie A or Europe.
I'm just going to borrow this recently-used line from one of my favorite sports writers here in the States, Joe Posnanski.
NEW YORK -- The most famous line ever uttered about Hollywood probably comes from William Goldman, the writer of "Butch Cassidy" and "The Princess Bride." He summed up all of the Tinseltown deals and schemes and plans and squabbles and moves and career decisions with three choice words:
"Nobody knows anything."
Maybe I'll just stand in that line for now.
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