If you were along the line of thinking that Juventus’ negotiations with Zenit St. Petersburg to try and finally resolve a move for Axel Witsel was going to be simple and fast moving, you might want to go back and read up on what happened over the summer. Words like “simple” and “fast” had nothing to do with how things went down in June, July and late-August. Nope, not one bit.
The drawn-out negotiations to try and bring Witsel and his beautiful afro to Turin are still ongoing. And guess what? Zenit, just like in the summer months, are being awfully, awfully tough to budge when it comes to the dollar amount they want for the talented Belgian midfielder.
Some reports have said that Zenit will only be holding out for a €10 million price tag. Other reports say that Juventus will only be willing to offer €6 million and/or €7 million at the very most. Either way, Juventus and Zenit trying to negotiate a deal is almost certainly going to be one of the major themes that dominates the next six weeks until another transfer window has come and gone. Here is what Sky Sport Italia’s Gianluca Di Marzio had to say on the matter on Tuesday:
Juventus wants to acquire the player in January. Thus far, there has been no new offer to Zenit, but simply an inquiry with regards to the club’s openness for a deal to be completed in January. Juventus wants to verify whether or not the Russians are willing to sell Witsel in the coming weeks so that they do not later lose him for nothing. If there is a positive response, Juventus would offer around 6 to 7 million in order to gift Massimiliano Allegri with the player. Witsel-Juventus is a deal which could finally come to fruition in January.
You, they’d be giving Max a gift because it’s close to Christmas. YOU GET IT?
A deal could finally come to fruition as it stated above, but that’s the same way we were thinking in the final days of the summer transfer window. Instead, as we know very well by now, everything was just about set to go before Zenit pulled the plug on it. Juventus has the decision to make — pay up now or get Witsel on a free over the summer. We know that Witsel wants his next club to be Juventus, and we know that Juventus wants to sign Witsel. The only question is whether they will pay straight cash no or go on the cheap to try and have Witsel be Beppe Marotta’s next free transfer that turns out to be quite the low-priced dynamo.