When it comes to the clubs that are interested in signing 24-year-old fullback Nahuel Molina, Juventus is certainly in the mix. That’s not because we are relying on the Italian press to tell us that. We’ve been told exactly that by an actual person involved in the negotiations, Udinese sporting director Pierpaolo Marino.
Here’s what Marino said about Molina — and then try to say those four words three times fast and then get back to me — during a recent interview with Tuttosport:
“Molina is attracting a lot of interest, so it will be difficult to keep him. I hope an Italian club takes him and enhances his value, Juve has the ability to do that.”
Juventus have reportedly been in constant contact with Udinese over a potential move for Molina, who has had a strong showing during the current crop of international games with Argentina. While the two clubs haven’t done much business together lately, they’ve had a long-standing positive relationship with each other with a number of Udinese’s best players signing with Juventus over the last decade or two.
The catch in all of this, though? Udinese value Molina at anywhere from €25 million to €30 million.
Oh, and another thing: As you might expect, those being interested in signing Molina this summer is not just limited to Juventus. Old friends Atlético Madrid — who themselves have had some discussions with Juve of late — are very much interested in Molina as well, trying to make it two straight summers in which they’ve signed a player from Udinese. (The first one has worked out pretty well, and that makes me rather jealous that Rodrigo de Paul now plays in Spain rather than still in Italy.)
Juventus find themselves in the same kind of situation as Atlético Madrid, which makes this duel between the two for Molina so interesting going forward these next couple of weeks. Both clubs are in desperate need to get young in defense, and especially so at the fullback position. You look at the three players who played at right back for Max Allegri last season and the “youngest” one was Mattia De Sciglio, who will be celebrating his 30th birthday in late October, two months into the 2022-23 season.
Just like with the left back situation, Juve clearly need some sort of long-term options amongst their fullback group simply because of how old the all of the present options not named Luca Pellegrini currently are. And, as we know, Pellegrini’s future at Juve seems rather uncertain to say the least, so there could be a few players going as well as arriving in Turin this summer. That’s basically the situation all over the roster, but it’s in defense in which Juve’s quality has taken a steep downturn as a whole.
And if Juventus can help fix that with the signing of Molina — and maybe Destiny Udogie as well — then there’s the long-term option at right back that this team has been crying out for the last couple of transfer windows at the bare minimum.
It sounds like Udinese want to play ball, and the fact that they know Juventus “has the ability” to sign Molina is definitely a step in the right direction.