If the last 12 months worth of transfer rumors has told us something, it’s that there’s at least some kind of interest level from Paris Saint-Germain when it comes to signing Miralem Pjanic. We don’t know how much, and we don’t know at what cost PSG will go to try and bring Pjanic to Paris, but there is at least something there, according to the Italian media.
Apparently not that much, though.
According to Tuttosport (via Football Italia), Juventus has tried to take advantage of that known interest from PSG’s end in the 30-year-old Pjanic. However, going as far as having Pjanic be part of a swap deal for Marco Verratti — something that was proposed by Juventus recently — was going a little too far in PSG’s mind, with the French champions rejecting that offer.
As Tuttosport suggested, the deal was always going to be an uphill battle for Juventus, who obviously have a need to upgrade things in the midfield whenever the next transfer window does in fact take place.
It’s also interesting how a very high-profile swap deal proposed by Juventus is being reported all of a couple days after Head Football Chief Fabio Paratici said that the next transfer window will be more like the NBA with an increase in player trades rather than tons of money being splashed out for everybody to see. That interview, by the way, was with Tuttosport.
But from a pure on-field perspective, the Pjanic-Verratti swap deal would certainly have been an interesting one.
We’ve seen growing momentum in the weeks before the coronavirus shutdown that Rodrigo Bentancur could very well step in for Pjanic on more than just a backup basis. And we know that this season has been incredibly tough on Pjanic as time has gone on, with things starting out so brightly and then getting increasingly more and more frustrating as games went on and into the new year. How much of the thinking on Tuttosport’s part of Pjanic’s struggles plus Bentancur’s emergence means the former is expendable is anybody’s guess. But if Juve are to retool their midfield, a player who has struggled for the better part of the last year, is on a pretty good salary and still has some kind of value is obviously going to attract attention.
And if Bentancur’s future does involve more time as a deep-lying midfielder, then somebody like Verratti would make sense. Then again, so would somebody like Sandro Tonali, who would allow Bentancur to play the same position in which he’s thrived in the last seven months.