The arrival of Manuel Locatelli, the one big move that Juventus appears to be making this summer, has been looked at as the move that both attempts to solve a glaring hole in the midfield as well as allows other pieces to fall into place in the center of the park.
But could there be a curveball thrown in the final weeks of the summer transfer window?
According to Sky Sport Italia’s Gianluca Di Marzio, Juventus has received multiple offers from outside of Italy for midfielder Weston McKennie recently. In Sky’s reporting of the reported offers, they go as far to say that “McKennie could leave Turin” this summer, with the club no longer considering the 22-year-old American untouchable on the transfer market.
McKennie, who performed well last season until a hip injury hampered him after the new year, saw his €18.5 million buy option picked up by Juventus last March after initially arriving from Schalke on loan last summer.
#calciomercato @juventusfc, non è da escludere la cessione di #McKennie https://t.co/YeKMFNcWWH— Gianluca Di Marzio (@DiMarzio) August 18, 2021
Part of Sky’s reasoning as to why McKennie is no longer untouchable is due to the fact that Locatelli has arrived this week after the lengthy negotiations with Sassuolo. That seems, well, a little odd considering the following:
- While not expected to miss much more time, Adrien Rabiot is still out injured.
- Arthur is out until at least October due to knee surgery.
- Aaron Ramsey is bound to get injured at some point soon because that is what history tells us is going to happen.
- And if he arrives at some point this summer, Miralem Pjanic is 31 years old and coming off a season with Barcelona in which he didn’t play all that much at all after a season with Juventus where he didn’t play all that well under Maurizio Sarri.
That doesn’t exactly sound like a better situation if McKennie is sold, does it?
Obviously the arrival of Locatelli doesn’t solve all of Juve’s midfield problems, but it makes them a better team. And because of Locatelli’s arrival, it allows some of Juventus’ other midfielders to play in roles that they are much more suited for. One of those players is most definitely McKennie, who would be the kind of box-to-box midfielder that Max Allegri could take full advantage of having on his roster this season.
From what we can tell, Allegri thinks rather highly of McKennie. We all remember how he shouted that he wanted McKennie to score 10 goals this season after the young American found the back of the net in Juve’s first friendly of the summer against Cesena last month. So if these bids are worth a good chunk of money — and you gotta think that Juve would have to be blown away to truly consider selling McKennie — accepting one of them would be more because of the financial crunch rather than the player not fitting into Allegri’s plans.
At least I hope so because McKennie is really a player that Allegri can take under his wing and develop as he starts off this new project of his. (Plus the fact that McKennie is still just 22 years old and Allegri wants his core group of players to be younger in the future.)