With Wojciech Szczesny getting closer and closer to his mid-30s and with a year and a half left on his current contract that runs through 2024, it might seem natural that Juventus is starting to think of the next step when it comes to their starting goalkeeper.
We don’t know when that might be, but we know that some sort of decision day is coming sooner or later if there’s no contract extension coming down the line.
Or could something happen on the future replacement front in, say, January?
According to La Gazzetta dello Sport on Thursday, Juventus have identified 26-year-old Empoli goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario as the one they want to target for a post-Szczesny world. That move for Vicario could come as early as January, with Juventus and Empoli already opening contacts regarding a potential move, per Gazzetta’s report. The thinking is that the early contacts would be to avoid any auction-like situations, with Gazzetta saying both Roma and Tottenham might also be interested in the Udine-born keeper.
#Juve in tuffo su Vicario per anticipare Tottenham e Roma ed evitare l’asta #calciomercato https://t.co/fl2bB7WaQ2— La Gazzetta dello Sport (@Gazzetta_it) November 16, 2022
The idea for Juventus is to try and sign Vicario — who arrived on loan at Empoli last season and then made his move permanent over the summer — and then loan him back to the Tuscan side for the rest of the 2022-23 campaign. He would then return to Juventus in the summer of 2023, but that would obviously create a bit of a logjam at goalkeeper with Szczesny still under contract for another year and Mattia Perin signed through 2025.
Gazzetta’s line of thinking would be that Vicario would be a direct replacement for Szczesny, who will turn 33 years old in April.
Vicario earned his first-ever call-up to the Italian national team in September for Italy’s UEFA Nations League games against England and Hungary.
When asked about a potential move to a bigger club, Vicario said the following during a press conference at the Italian national team camp earlier this week:
“I don’t listen to voices, as I have already said for me now the important thing is to consolidate and great with Empoli to try to achieve the goals we set ourselves, then I don’t know what the future will be and right now I don’t care that much. I focus on the present and on my work to smooth out the defects and improve further.”
Former Juventus keeper Dino Zoff has also given his blessing to the Bianconeri trying to sign Vicario, telling Gazzetta: “I’d also like to see a goalkeeper from Friuli back at Juventus after me. For what Vicario is showing at Empoli, the jump to a big club seems the natural step. But trust me, now let’s leave the boy in peace, let’s not overdo things with approaches to this team or that team.”