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Reports: Juve make move for Denis Zakaria; Bentancur, Kulusevski close to Tottenham

After their big splash, Juve have made a push toward a last-minute addition to the midfield.

Borussia Mönchengladbach v 1. FC Union Berlin - Bundesliga Photo by Mario Hommes/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

The last few days of the winter transfer window might be quite busy for Juventus.

After making a huge splash with one of the biggest winter transfer deals in history, the Bianconeri have made a last-minute attempt to bolster their midfield. According to Fabrizio Romano, Juve have made an initial offer for Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Denis Zakaria.

Zakaria, 25, will see his contract expire at the end of June, so the power in these negotiations is solely with Juve. Other reports say the club has already agreed terms with the player, and now await two things: Borussia Monchengladbach to make a decision on their offer and to get rid of one of their own midfielders to make room.

The first of those conditions looks to be on track. Nicolo Schira, among others, is reporting that the deal is in its final stages, for €5 million plus another €2 million in bonuses—an absolute steal for someone that Transfermarkt values at just under €30 million, made possible by his expiring contract. Zakaria isn’t a creator, but he’s the kind of midfield destroyer that would allow Manuel Locatelli more freedom to operate offensively, It would absolutely be an upgrade for a unit still desperate for one.

The other issue is less of a guarantee, but there’s optimism the deal can get done by Friday. With Arthur looking set to stay at Juve for the time being, the biggest candidate for a move is now Rodrigo Bentancur. Juve had been in negotiations with Aston Villa for him for much of this week, but it looks like the Villains have dropped out in the face of a superior offer by Tottenham Hotspur. Spurs, who have deep Juve connections in sporting director Fabio Paratici and coach Antonio Conte, are in fact closing in on deals for both Bentancur and Dejan Kulusevski, Calciomercato claim (h/t Football Italia) that significant progress is being made in talks for Bentancur, who Juve want at least €30 million for.

They want a larger fee given they will have to share it with Boca Juniors, who negotiated a sell-on clause when Bentancur arrived in 2017. That number was initially 50 percent, but it also dropped every year, and Juve could accept an extended loan with an obligation to buy so as to drop that sell-on fee even more before the move is made permanent.

Spurs are also in negotiations for Dejan Kulusevski. The Sweden international seems to be the attacker that will be sacrificed to the Dusan Vlahovic deal, seeing as Atletico Madrid aren’t keen on allowing Alvaro Morata to move to Barcelona this year and strengthen a rival. Paratici was the one who bought Kulusevski two winters ago, and he still believes in the player, perhaps enough to pay Juve enough to recoup what they paid Atalanta for him. Juve are similarly open to a loan with an option to buy, although they would prefer to make it an obligation as well.

It’s not often that you see a team so thoroughly remade in the winter transfer window, but if all these deals go through Juve will be very different indeed when play resumes following the current international break. Watch this space for updates.