There are only three defenders on the Juventus roster who have yet to log any kind of playing time through the first two games of the 2020-21 season. Two of those players, Matthijs de Ligt and Alex Sandro, have yet to step onto the field for one simple reason — they’re hurt and will be back at some point over the next six weeks or so.
The other one? That’s Daniele Rugani.
And if there was ever a sign that he doesn’t fit into Andrea Pirlo’s plan, it’s the fact that we’re just a week or so from the summer transfer window ending and suddenly there’s talk about him leaving.
According to reports on Monday from Sky Sport Italia’s Gianluca Di Marzio and Cadena COPE in Spain, Spanish side Valencia is doing some shopping in Italy, with the 26-year-old Rugani as their target. As Di Marzio states, Valencia want to acquire Rugani on loan for the 2020-21 season, with Juventus’ preference to be an outright sale seeing as the club’s money situation is very much what it is these days. (Meaning, a little bit of a cash influx would be a lot nicer than a couple million Euros for a season-long loan fee.)
For whatever it’s worth, this isn’t the first club that Rugani has been linked with in recent weeks. Others like West Ham United, Fulham, Stade Rennais and Sevilla have been thrown out there as possible destinations.
You can understand why Juventus might as well be deciding that Rugani is a player they can see themselves parting with right now. Merih Demiral is back and hopefully capable of playing a heavy workload soon. The early stages of Danilo as a central defender in Pirlo’s 3-4-1-2 setup has been far from the disastrous experiment that it could have been knowing that Danilo is Danilo.
That means, essentially, that Demiral and even Danilo are ahead of Rugani — who has been with Juventus since 2015 after returning from two seasons on loan at Empoli (and being coached by a certain Maurizio Sarri — in the pecking order under Pirlo.
And, if you’re somebody like Rugani, it’s pretty easy to see that the writing is on the wall when it comes to how your career at Juventus is currently going.
Even if it’s a move to Spain on loan, it would be good for both parties involved — Rugani gets to go to a club where he could possibly play more than he will in Turin, and Juventus will be able to trim a little more fat off the roster by shipping out a player who is at the bottom of the depth chart at his position. At this rate, that’s pretty much the only option that seems reasonable for a player who appeared in all of 10 Serie A games last season.