For the past couple of years, we’ve entered the summer months with the clear knowledge that Juventus’ midfield needs to get better. Not like adding somebody here or signing some depth there, but actually signing the kind of match-changing player who can clearly be identified as a player the club is going to build around both presently and into the future.
Each transfer window has ended the same — that midfield void is still there. And it’s one that was even that much more noticeable this season as the likes of Atletico Madrid and Ajax ran right over Juve’s midfield.
We already know Aaron Ramsey is on his way and will be a part of the Juventus squad come the first day of July. But, according to reports out of Italy on Tuesday, Juve are trying to secure that potential world-class kind of talent in the center of the park. Sky Sport Italia’s Gianluca Di Marzio, SportItalia’s Alfredo Pedulla and now every other major Italian media outlet is reporting that Juventus are in talks to sign Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, a player who Fabio Paratici has been trying to sign for at least the last year.
Here’s more from Di Marzio:
According to the latest information, there is an agreement between the player and Juventus. It is now necessary to negotiate with Lazio for the transfer fee or any additional counterweights. Lazio President Lotito set a price of over 100 million euros for the Serbian midfielder last year, which means it will not a be simple negotiation.
Again, let’s repeat what we say every time something like this is reported: Juventus agreeing to personal terms with a player is a whole lot easier than them agreeing with the club said player is currently employed by. And knowing that the other negotiating party is Lazio President Claudio Lotito, that first sentence is probably even more of the case.
And, as both Di Marzio and Pedulla point out in their respective reporting, it’s not like Milinkovic-Savic is going to be signed for anything that is close to being considered as “cheap” or “a bargain” this summer.
Now, by most accounts, Milinkovic-Savic didn’t have the same kind of season this year that he did a year ago. And in a very Italian kind of way, it is this season where Milinkovic-Savic is named Serie A’s best midfielder, not the one where he scored 12 goals and recorded three assists in 35 games (33 starts).
Regardless, in a summer where upgrading the midfield is really a clear-cut No. 1 priority from those of us who sit behind a laptop and complain about Juve from afar, maybe — just maybe! — there will be a major investment to bring in somebody who has a huge amount of talent like Milinkovic-Savic does. Maybe.