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Napoli reportedly beat Juventus to signing Sassuolo defender Sime Vrsaljko

Mario Carlini / Iguana Press/Getty Images

There is no doubt that Juventus and Sassuolo will do business this summer. Why? Because it's basically become one of the unwritten rules of each summer transfer window. A lot of it will center around Domenico Berardi, but there will be others, surely. That's just the nature of the Juventus-Sassuolo business and footballing partnership. One helps the other, and it is obviously one that will continue to go forward into the future.

It won't be involving Sime Vrsaljko, though.

According to reports out of Italy on Sunday, the Croatian fullback is close to joining Napoli, not Juventus, as many thought could happen this summer. The rumored fee is something around €15 million, even though, according to Gianluca Di Marzio, Sassuolo was eyeing something closer to €20 million for the 24-year-old right back.

This is relevant because for the better part of the last two seasons Vrsaljko has been a much-talked about Juventus transfer target. As recently as a couple of weeks ago Vrsaljko was reported to be an option of Juventus if Juan Cuadrado goes back to Chelsea — which will be managed by known Cuadrado admirer Antonio Conte — this summer. Beppe Marotta has obviously said in the past that he would like to keep Cuadrado at the club beyond this season, but seeing as there's no option to buy built into his loan deal, then negotiations become that much more complicated.

And seeing as Juve are likely in need for a backup to Stephan Lichtsteiner — and maybe a future replacement as well — at both ring wingback and right back this summer with Martin Cáceres more than likely leaving and Cuadrado's future completely up in the air right now, Vrsaljko would have made a lot of sense. Maybe it was the reluctance to pop for that big of a fee for a player that would almost certainly have to wait a year or two at the very least to become full-time player. (Then again, there's the Alex Sandro case, so that might cancel the previous sentence out fully.)