Every summer since Daniele Rugani joined Juventus back in 2015 we’ve been expecting him to make the step up and become the true heir to at least one of the trio of greatest defenders of the era — Andrea Barzagli, Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini — and every season since then we’ve ended up with him continuing to play a bit-part role in the squad or else going out on loan.
Now a 28-year-old, Rugani continues to be a fringe part of the Bianconeri squad, not reliable enough to be a regular, nor valuable enough to sell for a significant outlay. With two years left on his current contract, the player has been given some options to mull over and come back to the club with so that they can then make some moves.
Per Italian journalist Alfredo Pedulla, the central defender has been presented with exactly four choices, and will need to make up his mind in a few days.
- Loan to Empoli - the Florence side finished in 14th in last season’s Scudetto and are looking to replace Mattia Viti who is headed to Nice.
- Loan to Hellas Verona - Verona ended last season in ninth place and defender-turned-manager Gabriele Cioffi is said to be a fan of Rugani’s.
- Permanent transfer to Galatasaray - The Turkish side are willing to pay about €10m for the defender but he is said to be not interested in moving to Turkey.
- Stay at Juventus - contract is until 2024, and very unlikely he will get an extension at that time and will instead likely walk away as a free agent.
With the departure of Chiellini and Matthijs De Ligt, and Bonucci now a year older, Juventus are going into another campaign with an unclear picture of an area that for years has been their stronghold - central defence. The addition of Gleison Bremer certainly fills a big gap in the backline, but Federico Gatti remains unproven as yet and if Rugani were to depart then there is a pressing need to add a starting-quality player right away.