There aren’t many players in their early-20s on Juventus roster these days, let alone ones who have shown they could be regular contributors both in the present and the future. In fact, you can count on one hand just how many players are 22 years old or younger that are currently on the Juventus roster.
Wanna rattle them off? Sure.
Matthijs de Ligt ... Rodrigo Bentancur ... Merih Demiral.
It makes sense that Tuttosport has essentially deemed all three of those guys — as well as the guy who Juve’s paying €30 million or so a season to — all off limits. That is according to a front page story in Wednesday’s edition of Turin’s biggest sports daily. As Tuttosport lays out, Maurizio Sarri has evaluated his squad and deemed Cristiano Ronaldo and the 22-and-under trio of de Ligt, Bentancur and Demiral as all untouchable whenever the next transfer window does in fact start to do business.
Having Ronaldo and de Ligt off limits ... that’s no surprise there — especially when you consider what the club has committed to them in terms of transfer fees, annual salaries as well as on-field performances over the course of the last 18 months or so.
But there’s been off-again, on-again chatter every so often about the future that Bentancur and Demiral have in Turin beyond the last season or two. Hell, there were rumors about Juventus selling Demiral even before he played a game with the Italian champions based on the simple fact that they got him at such a good price that they could spin him off for a nice profit. And with Bentancur’s profile expanding, there’s bound to be rumblings — however big or small they may be — that another big-name club might come calling in hopes of prying him away from Juventus.
Now, there’s also this part of the equation that Tuttosport tells us about: the players who Sarri has now told us who might not be part of the plans of the club beyond this season.
They’re basically names we’ve heard before: Miralem Pjanic, Mattia De Sciglio and Daniele Rugani, the last of which has been a long-time “maybe” in terms of leaving Juventus during the summer transfer window. Pjanic’s name has been one of the most talked about players that could be on the way out this coming summer based on how he’s struggled over the past few months before the coronavirus caused the season to be suspended. And of the three, Pjanic would probably be the one to bring back the most amount of money in terms of a transfer fee.