And here you thought the most talked about thing leading up to the January transfer window opening up its rumor-filled doors was going to be the Italian press linking the same old names to Juventus we heard about over the summer without any kind of results.
Nope, time to collect our thoughts and re-evaluate things.
Simone Zaza wants to leave ... supposedly. Juventus won't let Zaza leave unless the clubs gets upwards of €25 to €30 million in return for him ... supposedly. Juventus might bring back Alessandro Matri and his striking good looks if Zaza leaves ... supposedly. All of this is paper talk now. But it's been paper talk that has been constant for the better part of the last three weeks ever since Juventus signed off for the holiday break.
But the line of reasoning has us thinking one move (Zaza leaving) would have to happen before the other move goes down (Matri arriving). An indirect-yet-obviously-related-to-one-another Zaza-Matri swap isn't necessarily the worst thing to have happen. Matri, 31, would pretty much assume the same kind of role he had last season when he came back on loan for the second half of the campaign. He knows the system, he knows the club, he would instantly fit right in like he never left the place even though there are so many new players compared to his first go-round with Juventus.
By now, we all know that Juventus players are back training following Christmas gifts being unwrapped. Zaza is amongst the group back at training in Vinovo now. And every day, every morning, there are rumors in all of the papers to greet Zaza and the entire Juventus management team. Sounds fun, doesn't it? Surely they had better ideas of how to spend their first couple days of the transfer window.
So what does Juve do? Or, better yet, what should Juve do?
This is a pretty unique situation. This isn't like when a player is deemed to be unnecessary when the squad becomes too big (i.e. Fernando Llorente this summer). Zaza may not be playing much this season, but he still can be a good piece to the puzzle coming off the bench and getting a start here and there — especially with Juventus about ready to compete on all three fronts come the start of February.
Zaza has been one of the least used players on the roster, but we knew that. The only players who have played fewer Serie A minutes are ones who have been injured (Kwadwo Asamoah), injured and then suspended (Martin Cáceres), and done exactly what backup goalkeepers do (Neto). He has played all of 284 minutes, but looked relatively solid despite the clear lack of playing time.
That small number of minutes played is the reason behind this rumored desire to leave Juventus in January. Right now, if he's actually heading out is anybody's guess. There are rumored suitors — pretty much all of them notably in England, I might add. But the fact that Juve reportedly want big-time money for him, those potential buyers are going to be wary
Unless they seriously want to sign Zaza no matter what the cost, that.
But, man, it's just odd. Very, very odd.
I guess it shouldn't be a surprise based on rumors of Zaza leaving about a month after he signed with Juventus over the summer. Yet it is. And as we sit here not even a week into January, it doesn't seem like we've taken the last turn or two on this weird and strange Zaza-related road. Nah, we still got four more weeks of rumors and talk of a move if something doesn't end up happening. That sounds wonderful. Also kinda confusing.