Call it ironic, hilarious, confusing, whatever you want. But the truth of the matter is that Sebastian Giovinco has three appearances for Juventus this season, and has three appearances for the Italian national team. No, really. It's true, it's true. That's how Giovinco's first two months of the 2014-15 season has gone. Not exactly what you would have guessed for a guy who has played from the start in one match for his club team, huh?
But there's no way to really say it other than that's just the kind of cards Giovinco's been dealt this season. He's an international player with a decent amount of international caps who, outside of one start this season, has seen his playing time be inconsistent at the very best. He's not a starter, but probably doesn't deserve to be buried on the bench for long periods of time like has happened these last few years.
All of this, as we've come to discover, is on the heels of Giovinco — who will be a free agent at season's end — and Juventus trying to hammer out some kind of contract extension.
Juventus and Giovinco's negotiations to extend the striker's contract have stalled. Giovinco's contract expires next June and the situation has become complicated. It's an odd situation, since it involves the possibility of a striker for Italy's national team potentially being available on a free transfer. There haven't been phone communications nor meetings between the club and the player's agent- the situation has stalled. Since Juve has numerous strikers they want Giovinco to lower his financial demands, so it this point it can't be excluded that other teams could get involved.
(Source: Gianluca Di Marzio)
It's easy to see why Juventus want to sign Giovinco to an extension. Two very, very easy-to-figure-out reasons:
- Max Allegri and the Juve management actually see Giovinco having some kind of role at the club beyond this season. Maybe not as a full-time starter in the future, but as a player who can contribute off the bench and against smaller clubs.
- Juventus don't want to lose him for free, so locking him into an extension would give Beppe Marotta the chance to sell Giovinco for some kind of decent price during next summer's transfer window.
There's also this minor detail about Giovinco's future: If he's basically looked at one of the strikers that isn't going to be used all too often this season, what happens when somebody like Domenico Berardi rolls into town next season like pretty much everybody expects to happen? I mean, if Juventus are going to bring back a player like Berardi, it won't be so he just sits around on the bench like Giovinco did after his season on loan with Empoli.
But we'll just roll with what we know right now. And that's the fact that Giovinco, inconsistent playing time and all, has at least put a thought or two into signing a contract extension with the club he has spent so much of his life at. (We also know that Giovinco's agent will babble to no end whenever there's even the slightest chance of talking to the press, but that might be another matter for another time.)
This is also something we definitely know: The Juventus management are seemingly trying to sign everybody they deem valuable to the squad. Giovinco is just the latest in what has become a laundry list of players to have reportedly in talks to extend their contracts with the three-time defending Serie A champions. From Gigi Buffon to Giorgio Chiellini to Paul Pogba, there isn't a lack for contract extension stories coming out in the Italian press these days.
So, in that sense, we should just add Giovinco to the list.
But at some point, there will come a time when Giovinco will have to make a choice — a legit one that involves either putting his name in ink on a contract with Juventus or somewhere else. The head might rule over the heart, but it would make a lot of sense if that's the case. He's at the point of his playing career where sitting on the bench more often than not just isn't the greatest thing to do if he sees himself as a contributor to the Italian national team's roster.
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