By all accounts, Juventus want an answer from Ángel Di Maria pretty damn soon. Not like by the end of the week, either. Like, within the next day or two — a clear sign that they’ve grown rather impatient with a player who was reportedly pretty close to signing with Juventus not so long ago.
You know, like within the last week or two.
Because of this, Juventus appear to be looking for a Plan B. And they’ve already identified said Plan B — a name that has been also been connected with Juventus within the last couple of months.
According to reports from Sky Sport Italia’s Gianluca Di Marzio and Romeo Agresti of Goal Italia late Tuesday night, Juventus have initiated talks with old pal Sassuolo to potentially begin negotiations for old pal Domenico Berardi. The purpose of these contacts were to see just what kind of cost it might take to bring the 27-year-old Berardi to Turin this summer and if the price was worth taking the negotiations to the next phase.
Di Marzio has gone so far to report the following: “The certainty is that, with Di Maria away, Juventus has already moved . The first name is that of Domenico Berardi.”
First contact confirmed today between #Juventus and #Sassuolo for Domenico #Berardi. Reasoning over overall costs, with The Bianconeri called upon to decide whether or not to accelerate on this deal @goal— Romeo Agresti (@romeoagresti) June 7, 2022
Who’s ready to party like we’re back in the co-ownership days of Serie A, ladies and gents?
Di Marzio added that there are other players in the mix besides Berardi — most notably Filip Kostić of Frankfurt and Shakhtar Donetsk’s Mykhaylo Mudryk, the latter being more of an investment for the future rather than getting an experience player like the former. But when it comes to the player that Juventus has identified as the No. 1 option if the Di Maria deal doesn’t happen, it is very much Berardi, who Juve used to co-own with Sassuolo when he was one of Italy’s brightest talents nearly a decade ago.
SInce then, Berardi has gone on to have a good career at Sassuolo. He’s put up some good numbers and this past season where he scored 15 goals and finished as Serie A’s leading assist man with 14 is definitely one of those years.
But the sticking point with Berardi is where the ceiling actually is and why a player who was billed to do such lofty things has chosen to stick with a mid-table side like Sassuolo for so long rather than making the jump to one of Italy’s big clubs — most notably Juventus when co-ownership came to an end — in his early-20s. He’s 27 now, and this might just be the player that he is. Will he put up those numbers that he did this past season at Juventus, or will he only be somebody who thrives as the big fish in a little pond like he has been?
Signing somebody like Berardi is obviously more of a long-term thing than it ever would have been with Di Maria simply because the Argentine winger wants a short-term deal. But if Berardi is to finally make the big move in his career, there’s still a lot to prove on his end.