There is no perfect solution — or anything close to it, really — when it comes to Juventus’ search for a new No. 9 to play alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and Paulo Dybala. Not this summer. Not in this economic climate where the likelihood of Juve making a big-money buy pretty much shrinking by the day that passes.
That is why they’re hunting for short-term options, with players in their early- or mid-30s dominating the rumor mill these days.
We know about Edin Dzeko. We now know about Juve’s interest in Luis Suarez, too. But while the former seems to depend more on Roma finding a replacement first, the possibility of Suarez joining Juventus needs one big domino to fall first before the wheels are put in motion. We just await that possible domino to fall.
That remains the big sticking point in serious progress being made when it comes to Suarez potentially signing with the Italian champions this summer, according to Sky Sport Italia’s Gianluca Di Marzio on Thursday night. Not the fact that Suarez would have to get an Italian passport because Juve’s used both of their non-EU spots this summer already on Suarez’s former teammate, Arthur Melo, and loanee Weston McKennie. Rather, as Di Marzio points out, Barcelona still remains staunch in their stance to not meet Suarez’s demands when it comes to the amount of money he wants if they were to cut him loose this summer.
And, as we know, one of the biggest things that has been tied to Juve’s reported interest in Suarez has to do with the fact that he would be arriving as a free agent rather than seeing the club pay some kind of transfer fee to Barcelona. (Or at least he would come cheap outside of his annual salary.)
Many Italian outlets, including Sky Sport Italia and La Gazzetta dello Sport, have reported in the 24 hours or so that Suarez has emerged as Juventus’ No. 1 target for the No. 9 position. Seeing as things seem to be further along than they do as compared to the pursuit of Dzeko, that’s really no surprise. However, a report from ESPN on Wednesday when Juve’s interest in Suarez was starting to gain a lot more traction, didn’t exactly make it seem like things were going to be a piece of cake ...
Juventus are in discussions with Barcelona over a move for forward Luis Suarez but expect the deal to be “difficult,” sources have told ESPN.
With less than three weeks left until Andrea Pirlo makes his official debut as Juve’s manager, the last thing that’s needed is to have a long, drawn out process with one of the transfer targets that actually seems like a possibility. Then again, the hunt for a No. 9 looks to be the only kind of deal that the club is currently chasing. Or at least that’s what we’re hearing in the Italian press right now. Better that than nothing, I guess.