This summer is like many a lot of us can remember for one very big reason — the amount of big names who will be on the market and free to sign for whatever team they so please is as plentiful as we’ve seen in a long, long time. There is bound to be a good amount of movement and big names — potentially including one that has worn Juventus’ No. 10 jersey since 2017 — going to new places considering the amount of talent that’s available.
It looks like Juventus could be maybe, just maybe, signing one of those big names.
According to the big story splashed across much of La Gazzetta dello Sport’s front page Saturday morning, Juventus and Chelsea center back Antonio Rüdiger — one those big-name players who will be out of contract come the end of June — have agreed to a four-year contract through 2026. The 29-year-old Rüdiger has been linked with some of the biggest clubs in Europe over the last couple of months — most notably Real Madrid — but only recently has been a reported target of Juventus, who obviously are in need of some defensive upgrades knowing that Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci are in their mid-30s and are closing in on the end of their respective careers.
There are no details regarding the reported deal other than how long it is for. If true, it certainly be interesting to see just what kind of salary Rüdiger would arrive on knowing full well that Juve’s front office is trying to lower the current payroll. Some of that might happen naturally with not all of Juventus’ own players on expiring contracts potentially leaving this coming summer, which would obviously both free up money and allow Juventus to not spend as much as they have.
Still, for Rüdiger to spurn somebody like Real Madrid for Juventus, you gotta believe that there’s some sort of big salary number to it. It’s hard to even guess what it is because we know that Juve’s finances are what they are and the club wants to try and accomplish certain things with lowering the payroll, but you have to spend a good chunk of money to ensure somebody of Rüdiger’s standing would agree to a deal.
(You also gotta think that everything going on with Chelsea right now made him think twice about re-signing with the reigning European champions.)
But when you think about what the potential addition of Rüdiger would mean to Juventus, it’s something that just makes so much sense on so many levels. Rüdiger has become quite the player with Chelsea after his big-money move from Roma. The thought of a big, physical central defender like Rüdiger playing alongside Matthijs de Ligt makes you think happy thoughts and just nod your head in approval because Juve’s defense would be in good hands.
We’ll see what happens and if this deal does end up coming to fruition. If it turns out to be the case, Juventus definitely just got one of the biggest fish in the free agent sea — and you can bet Rüdiger is going to end up contributing a little bit more than the last few free deals.