For pretty much the entire January transfer window, us Juventus supporters have basically been under the assumption that there are two midfielders most likely to leave — Aaron Ramsey and Arthur. Those are two very different situations since one is very much not in Max Allegri’s plans and the other one, while not a guaranteed starter, is at least getting playing time.
But we’ve gotten a third player in on the potential midfield departure list.
And it looks to be the one that, at this point, might be the most likely to happen.
According to reports out of Italy from the likes of Goal Italia’s Romeo Agrsti and others, Premier League side Aston Villa is set to open talks for Juventus over midfielder Rodrigo Bentancur. It comes after reports surfaced over the weekend that Aston Villa scots were in the stands at the San Siro for Juve’s scoreless draw against AC Milan, a game in which Bentancur had easily one of his best games of the 2021-22 season. The English press has stated that new Villa manager Steven Gerrard is on the hunt for a defensive midfielder and has identified the 24-year-old Bentancur as the player to add value to his project.
Villa’s bid will reportedly be around €20 million, but Juventus is a little reluctant to accept something that low knowing full well that a good percentage of the transfer fee they would get immediately goes to Boca Juniors. (Yes, remember that?)
#Bentancur: in queste ore l’#AstonVilla formulerà un’offerta ufficiale. La palla passa ora alla #Juventus e alla volontà del giocatore // Bentancur: #AVFC are about to make an official bid. The ball is now in Juventus' court. It depends on the player too @GoalItalia @goal— Romeo Agresti (@romeoagresti) January 25, 2022
With Arthur’s status still very much in the air and Ramsey rejecting seemingly every potential move back to England in sight, Bentancur’s potential departure to Aston Villa has suddenly been thrust into the spotlight as the one midfield exit this month. There are a few other names who could leave the Juve squad this month — most notably Alvaro Morata in the light of the Dusan Vlahovic news — but Bentancur is seemingly the only one that involves some sort of noticeable transfer fee coming in.
With how the last season and a half has been for Bentancur, it’s far from the kind of situation where he was being looked at by some of us here as a future building block for the midfield. His form has been inconsistent at best, more frequently detrimental to a team that has had a multitude of midfield issues for the better part of the last four or five years. He’s far from the player who was the young starlet arriving from Boca Juniors as part of the Carlos Tevez deal.
For that reason, you can see why Juve see him as expandable now. Maybe not a few years ago, but he’s failed to that next step to be the kind of player that can be crucial in the midfield like he showed he could be under Maurizio Sarri. And because of that poor form, it could spell the end to his Juve career.