When talking about attacking players linked with Juventus in recent weeks, it has mostly involved things being as a backup plan to the Ángel Di Maria deal falling through. That’s why a handful of names were thrown out there when the deal for Di Maria wasn’t looking all that good but have suddenly gone silent over the last week or two as Juve’s optimism has grown to the point where we’re currently at entering the final days of June.
But there’s still an attacking name out there.
Not as an alternative to Di Maria. No, no — as a signing to add to Di Maria in Juventus’ attacking ranks.
According to Goal Italia’s Romeo Agresti and other outlets in Italy over the weekend, Juventus have been in contact with Roma once again to discuss a possible move for Italian starlet Nicolo Zaniolo. Roma reportedly valute the young attacker at €50 million, which is obviously going to be something that Juventus wants to try and offset by adding a player or two to the deal. Roma haven’t exactly been opposed to something like that, according to recent reports, with Agresti suggesting that Juventus has offered up Arthur — a man infamous for his involvement in a somewhat recent swap deal — to try and acquire Zaniolo, who has also attracted the interest of Milan in recent weeks and is still very much been balking at signing a contract extension with Roma.
Contact in the last few hours between #Juventus and #Roma for #Zaniolo (which is not an alternative to #DiMaria). The bianconeri have put #Arthur on the plate (but it's not easy). Watch out for possible other names/solutions. All details tomorrow on @GoalItalia— Romeo Agresti (@romeoagresti) June 26, 2022
Just a few days after Chelsea offered up a player in Timo Werner who has been quite disappointing during his time in London while trying to make an offer for Matthijs de Ligt, here is Juventus essentially doing the same thing with Arthur as they try and bring down the money they actually pay for Zaniolo.
(The not exactly reliable) Tuttomercatoweb reported Monday that on top of Arthur, Roma would also be interested in Juventus including two of Juve’s best young prospects, Fabio Miretti and Giacomo Vrioni, in a potential deal. (I’m guessing few people would want Miretti included compared to Arthur.)
But when it comes to what Agresti is saying, the fact that Juventus want Zaniolo on top of Di Maria is the major development here. With Di Maria, he’s very much the short-term option. Zaniolo and however much Juventus is willing to spend with or without a player involved in the deal is a long-term kind of signing. It would come with the same kind of injury concerns as Paul Pogba’s return that should be official in a matter of days, and that’s on top of somebody who suffered a pair of major knee injuries prior to his 22nd birthday.
There is no doubt that Zaniolo would help ease the burden of losing Paulo Dybala and would be a nice piece to build the attack around alongside of Dusan Vlahovic. It’s just a matter of how willing Juventus is to stretch the financial aspect since there is a sense that Zaniolo does want to test the market at the very least.