It’s no surprise to see Tuttosport roll out a huge centerpiece story about a proposed transfer target that Juventus has been linked to more than just a couple times in the past or probably has no chance in signing ... or both.
The edition that the Turin-based daily rolled out there on Sunday was no different. Well, except for one major and noticeable difference: Instead of just one transfer target rolled out there by Tuttosport, there were seven. Count ‘em, folks! One, two, three, four, five, six, seven midfielders that Juve have identified as possible transfer targets this summer.
In case you don’t feel like magnifying your laptop’s screen to 500 percent, here are the seven midfielders that Tuttosport has thrown out there that Juve may try to acquire this summer:
- Sergej Milinkovic-Savic (Lazio)
- Emre Can (Liverpool)
- Adrien Rabiot (PSG)
- Mousa Dembele (Tottenham)
- Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal) (lol)
- Lorenzo Pellegrini (Roma)
- Bryan Cristante (Atalanta)
Some of the seven names above aren’t a surprise. Some of them are new names that we should probably get used to hearing linked with Juventus.
But, as I sat there looking at my computer screen, I couldn’t help but think a relatively logical question: Does Juve even have a chance at signing any of them?
Somebody like Milinkovic-Savic is going to likely cost a transfer fee that is closer to €100 million than it is to €50 million because Lazio have every right to hold out for as much money as humanly possible. Seeing SMS up close the last couple of seasons, it’s easy to see why he’s so highly regarded ... and why he’d be such a fantastic addition for Juventus.
And I completely get why Tuttosport has reportedly identified Milinkovic-Savic as Juve’s No. 1 choice in the midfield this summer. I’d want him to be their preferred choice. He should be their preferred choice. Juve need serious upgrades in their midfield, and SMS would provide exactly that.
That transfer fee, though. Oh, that transfer fee.
We’ve done the “Will he or won’t he?” dance with Can the last seven or eight months now. We know he wants to go to a big club, but we don’t exactly know where that “big club” may be because he has said he would like to play in England, Germany, Spain and/or Italy.
I like Cristante. I like Pellegrini. And I like when Juventus signs young, talented Italian players who are starting to reach the potential that a lot of people have pinned to them as they were first making a name for themselves in Serie A. At 23 and 21 years old, respectively, one has to think that Cristante and Pellegrini still have room to grow as players as they enter their mid-20s in upcoming years.
The thing is, though, when you line up all of those names and think about who Juve is most likely to sign — and I guess we can throw Can out of the mix right now because we have no clue as to where he wants to go right now — we have another question pop into our head: Are Cristante and Pelegrini the kind of midfielders that can truly make Juventus better?
Not just a little better. But the kind of better so that when you match Juve up against another one of Europe’s biggest clubs, it doesn’t look like the opposing midfield is in a completely different class than the one that’s wearing black and white.
We don’t know what Juventus’ transfer budget is going to be. We have to think that a good chunk of whatever it may be will be heading to Germany with Bayern Munich’s mailing address on it to make Douglas Costa’s loan deal a permanent one. And it’s not like we were sitting here a few years ago thinking Beppe Marotta was going to drop €90 million on Gonzalo Higuain, so I guess we can always hold out a sliver of hope that there is a big-time move happening.
Or, we can just be complete grumps and just stew in the fact that the perfect kind of signing in midfield, Milinkovic-Savic, is going to cost a ton of money and will probably price Juventus out of the game even before it really starts up.