Juventus hasn’t been linked with a lot of fullbacks this summer, but the name that was atop a lot of wishlists was Udinese’s Nahuel Molina, the kind of right back that the club could very much use as the current offerings at the position are all above the age of 30.
He fit the profile. He fit the skillset. He checked a lot of the boxes and is already somebody who is experienced in Serie A despite being all of 24.
And he looks like he’s going to be a very good signing — but not for Juventus.
According to reports out of Italy (Sky Italia’s Gianluca Di Marzio and Fabrizio Romano) and Spain (Cadena Cope’s Javi Gómez and Marca), Atlético Madrid have beaten Juventus to the signing of another young and talented Argentine. Last summer it was Rodrigo de Paul, this summer it is Molina, as the young right back is set to join Diego Simeone’s squad barring any kind of sudden developments. While no transfer fee has been thrown out there, Atlético Madrid is sending Argentine center back Nehuén Pérez back the Friuli as part of the deal, according to reports.
As much as the Kalidou Koulibaly was tough to imagine happening no matter how much Juventus wanted to sign him, trying to get Molina appeared to be a very logical and practical step in the Bianconeri’s summer mercato because of the need to start building for the future. As good as Danilo has been the last two years and how Juan Cuadrado has developed into a solid option, Juventus’ fullback corps — especially on the right — is aging and definitely in need of some new blood, and it made a whole lot of sense to go get Molina during a summer transfer window in which he was available.
Except, Juventus hasn’t done that.
Molina will head to Atlético Madrid and solve what has long been a problem — or “soap opera” — at right back, according to our blog friends at Into the Calderon. The were reports that Juventus were feeling rather optimistic a few weeks ago about how talks were going between themselves and Udinese. Apparently it wasn’t as good as we were led to believe, with rumors about Molina potentially arriving in Turin certainly cooling ever since that reported optimism came about.
Then we have this piece of information from Di Marzio’s report:
The deal is closing and soon the player — who also liked Juventus but has never tried concretely to bring him to Turin — will go to Spain.
Well, that just seems somewhat hard to believe. But if it is true, then Juve must have either pulled out of the running because that optimism completely died off or Atlético just simply willing to offer more of the kind of money that Udinese wanted.
No matter what, though, Atléti is about to sign a really good player who’s 24 years old and Juventus is very much looking at the possibility of serious Mattia De Sciglio minutes whenever an injury or two happens.