Just a few days after knowing of one player Juventus definitely are going to try and sign this summer, we know about another one.
Man, this is a pleasant change.
Juventus’ reported interest and subsequent pursuit of 20-year-old Udinese-owned Alex Meret is the real deal. We now know this because Udinese sporting director Nereo Bonato has told us so in an interview with Turin-based publication Tuttosport over the weekend. Here is, in full, what Bonato had to say in Sunday’s edition of the Italian paper that is so incredibly notorious for putting transfer rumors out there that are not exactly true:
The selection on the national team surprised us for the timing of it, not the ability of the player. Conte had already worked with him during a stage before the Euro and had appreciated his technical and human qualities. Ventura selected to have him start getting international experience. All the top clubs have asked for information, Juventus always follows the best Italian prospects so it's normal they're following Meret. The good relationship between Marotta and Meret are known, but so far we have yet to make any deals with anyone.
(Source: Gianluca Di Marzio)
Based on what Meret has done on loan with S.P.A.L. this season — eight clean sheets in 20 Serie B starts — it’s easy to see why he’s attracting the attention of some of the bigger clubs in Italy. Could he be a contender to start right away? Well, not at all of them considering who is already entrenched as the starting goalkeepers.
But when it comes to young Italian goalkeepers, Meret is starting to make the claim that he’s the best of the bunch that isn’t named Gianluigi Donnarumma, who is obviously the next in line when it comes to taking over for Gigi Buffon on the national team level. His meteoric rise to earning a call-up to the national team just a few days before he turned 20 years old just shows that he’s catching the attention of many — and not just on the club level, either. Some of the reason why he’s currently training alongside Buffon and Donnarumma at Coverciano is thanks to some of Italy’s other top goalkeepers (Mattia Perin the most notable) being injured. But when you are a young keeper playing well in Serie B and earn a call-up to the Italian national team because of it, you’re obviously doing something right.
So it’s understandable as to why Juventus are interested in signing Meret this summer. At the very least, we know that Marotta and Co. are sticking with their strategy of acquiring a good portion of the best young talent Italy has to offer these days.