Thus far, Juventus’ dealings in the summer of 2019 — whether it’s player acquisition or actually naming a new manager — have been more about rumors and conjecture rather than anything of true substance. Fabio Paratici hasn’t said much, with his reported travel plans dominating much of the non-manager kind of conversation.
So, leave it to another club’s front office to let us know a piece of business that Juventus is close to completing on the summer transfer market.
Empoli president Fabrizio Corsi revealed in an interview with Tuttomercatoweb on Wednesday that his club and Juventus are close to agreeing to a deal for teenage midfielder Hamed Traore. The deal, reported to be in the €12 million range, according to La Gazetta dello Sport, is just about a few minor details and some signatures away if what Corsi is telling us is right on the money.
“We’re working to close the deal with Juve. Everything is set, we’re just missing the signatures now. He was just a hot prospect in January, but in the last five months he’s grown an awful lot and he’s now showing his true potential.
“He’s a complete footballer and I think he’s destined to have a great career.”
(Source: Football Italia)
OK, so it’s not Paul Pogba or Sergej Milinkovic-Savic. It’s not Tanguy Ndombele or any other midfielder that Juventus has been seriously linked to over the course of the last month or two (or six).
Instead, Juventus’ first summer signing could very well be a 19-year-old midfielder in Traore who has all of one season in Serie A under his belt. (And not to mention the fact that he could be on his way to Sassuolo as part of Juventus’ other rumored nearly-completed deal for Turkish defender Merih Demiral.)
Traore appeared in 31 Serie A games (25 starts) this past season for Empoli, which has already taken a trip down to Serie B where they will spend the next season at the very minimum. Traore didn’t exactly light the world on fire statistically — he was Empoli’s 10th-highest rated player, according to WhoScored.com — but did average over two tackles per game and only one of six players to have at least one interception per outing.