While there's a lot of talk surrounding the highly-touted strikers Juventus currently co-own right now — and rightfully so — there's also a talented teenage defender who could find himself sporting some black and white stripes sooner rather than later. Daniele Rugaini has received plenty of praise for his play with Empoli the past 10 months, essentially putting himself on the radar as one of Italy's brightest prospects like a handful of players who are currently on Juventus' books.
But first, it seems as though he won't be going anywhere as he prepares for his first experience of top-flight football in Italy.
The 19-year-old Rugani, co-owned by Juventus and Empoli, has reportedly had his co-ownership renewed for next season and will stay with the newly-promoted side next season. Instead, he will be at the center of an Empoli defense he anchored this past season as the Azzurri look to remain in Serie A for more than just one season.
The scoop, courtesy of Gianluca Di Marzio:
19-year-old centre-back Daniele Rugani will spend another season at Empoli. Empoli and Juventus have found the agreement to renew the co-ownership of the defender. Rugani will try to improve for one more year in Tuscany before making the leap.
With Empoli's promotion to Serie A, it's not much of a surprise that Rugani will be staying right where he is after having a very productive season in Italy's second division. Rugani, who is a product of the Juventus primavera, played in 40 games in the center of an Empoli defense that was one of the best in Serie B.
In terms of his future, Rugani had this to say two weeks ago:
"I have experienced many unexpected emotions in my first year as a professional," Rugani told Sky Sport Italia.
"It was a beautiful season, luckily I'm still here to play for something important. I feel fortunate and I hope to achieve this goal, that of promotion.
"Empoli? It is a city with few pressures, young people can play here with ease. At Empoli, we are aware that we have a budget of less than our opponents.
"My immediate future? I hope to find a team that would allow me to grow. Playing for Juventus would be a dream, it's the team that followed as a child.
"I'll try to work to get there someday. The trio of Juve's defenders [Barzagli, Bonucci and Chiellini] would have many things to teach me."
(Source: Forza Italian Football)
If he keeps progressing like he has with Empoli, there's no reason to think he won't be in a Juventus jersey in the not-so-distant future. And like he said, he'd have some pretty good teachers to help him along the way.