When Juventus swooped in to sign Dejan Kulusevski back in January, it was somewhat out of left field. There wasn’t a lot of chatter about it beforehand, with very little warning in the rumor cycle to even suggest that something could happen. We heard a got a few reports that a deal was struck, then a few days later Kulusevski was in Turin to sign his contract and pose for a couple of pictures at his new club.
We could be seeing another one of those kinds of moves.
According to a report from La Stampa on Saturday morning, Juventus has swooped in for another talented youngster in Serie A just when you thought he might be going to some other team that he’s actually been linked to recently. This time it’s 20-year-old Hellas Verona defender Marash Kumbulla, who has reportedly agreed to a five-year contract with Juventua and will cost the Italian champions €32 million if the transfer does indeed happen.
Fret not, folks. In case you’re going “THIRTY-TWO MILLION EUROS, MAN?!” then we have an answer for you. According to La Stampa’s report, Juve will try and bring the price down by including a player or two (at minimum in all likelihood) so that what is expected to be a massively different kind of budget and plan of attack than it would have been before the coronavirus pandemic put all of the footballing world on pause for the better part of three months.
UPDATE: However ...
In the minutes following La Stampa’s report hitting the internet, some of Italy’s more well-known transfer reporters have given a different tone to the possibility of Kumbulla signing with Juventus. Namely, Juve hasn’t agreed to a deal for Kumbulla. That is according to both Sky Sport Italia’s Fabrizio Romano as well as Goal Italia’s Juventus reporter Romeo Agresti. It is both of those fellas who say that it is Inter Milan, not Juventus, in pole position to sign Kumbulla.
That’s two in one corner, one in the other. Take your pick, folks.
For whatever it is worth, it’s not like La Stampa — which just so happens to be based in Turin — has exactly been the gold standard when it comes to Serie A transfer reporting over recent years. So, yeah, there’s not a lot of La Stampa references here, despite the fact that La Stampa does its reporting in the same city that Juventus plays in.
Kumbulla, who has really burst onto the scene this season as Hellas Verona has had a surprising 2019-20 campaign prior to the coronavirus shutdown, has attracted interest from the usual suspects in terms of Italy’s heavy hitters and bigger clubs. Napoli, Inter and Lazio were reportedly very interested in the young Albanian, with Chelsea and Lyon — hey, remember them! — also rumored to be trying to secure Kumbulla’s services.
But, if Juventus is where Kumbulla ends up whenever the transfer window happens — and it’s looking like late-August or September will be the grand re-opening — then it will be quite interesting to see where he actually fits in. Will he be a Merih Demiral who comes in and can find his place in the squad? Or will he be more of a Cristian Romero who is bought for a nice sum of money and then is being looked as a potential swap deal candidate all of about 12 months later?
I don’t really know. But I guess I’m willing to find out. Yeah, let’s go with that.