Unlike some of the other transfer rumor stories we are bound to hear about over the next two weeks, we know Juventus wants to try and sign Zenit St. Petersburg Axel Witsel. That’s mainly because they have already come close to doing it not so long ago, something that obviously didn’t have a positive outcome on the final day of the summer transfer window being open.
But, probably unsurprising to the vast majority of people who follow Juventus on a regular basis, it’s not like they’re going to suddenly going to give up on the quest to sign the Belgian international with the A-plus afro. No, no. Quite the contrary.
In an interview with Radio Anch’io Sport, Juventus director general director general Beppe Marotta has confirmed that the club’s intentions to try and sign the 27-year-old Witsel when the transfer window re-opens in a little under three months in January. By then, Witsel could have turned a year older — his birthday is on Jan. 12, after all — but is still one of Juve’s main targets based on what Marotta has said.
Marotta: "Witsel? Because his contract expires in 2017. He's suitable profile for our team. We will try to sign him in January."— Khaledalnouss (@khaledalnouss1) October 3, 2016
Marotta: "But if we failed to sign Axel in January, then we could sign him later on. His expiring contract puts us in a favorable position."— Khaledalnouss (@khaledalnouss1) October 3, 2016
Favorable position, indeed.
Considering the fact that Juve were so close to getting a deal done in August and that Witsel’s contract with Zenit expires at the end of the season, this isn’t a huge surprise at all. We thought the deal would get done by the time the summer transfer window was still open, but that didn’t happen. Now, Juve may get their chance.
Be it for a cut-rate price in January or agreeing to sign Witsel on a free transfer come the summer of 2017, it’s pretty easy to identify this as a deal that Marotta doesn’t want to let go of despite what happened the first time around. If signed in January, Witsel could prove to be a solid addition for the second half of the season, hopefully both domestically and in Europe. If signed in the summer, then he would be the latest of Marotta’s free transfer acquisitions that will be looked on to be a key contributor.
Either way, Juventus want to sign Axel Witsel — and that’s the case more now than ever before, folks.