It was a couple of weeks ago that Goal Italia’s Romeo Agresti, one of the most in-tune reporters when it comes to Juventus, said that most of the noise surrounding Filip Kostic potentially coming to Turin was more to do with the player’s entourage rather than the club itself.
Translation: Kostic wanted Juventus, but Juventus wasn’t totally sure if it wanted Kostic back.
As we sit here in the first week of August, things look to be a-changing.
According to Sky Italia’s Gianluca Di Marzio on Wednesday and subsequently confirmed by Fabrizio Romano, Tuttosport and La Gazzetta dello Sport the next morning, Juventus are very much back in when it comes to trying to sign the 29-year-old Kostic. This comes after a reported meeting between Juve manager Max Allegri and club directors, with Allegri stating his desires for the rest of the summer transfer window — one of those being to address the still-vacant hole on the left wing that needs to be filled before the end of the month.
West Ham, the team that many thought Kostic was going to up until the last day or so, have reportedly put a bid of around €15 million plus another €5 million in bonuses on the table, but Eintracht Frankfurt has rejected both. Juventus, clearly, won’t have it easy when it comes to negotiations for Kostic, but have the trump card in that he wants to make a move to Turin happen.
Kostic was one of the many attacking options thrown out at the beginning of the summer, with La Gszzetta dello Sport going so far to say that Juventus had agreed to personal terms with a winger on a contract worth €2.5 million net a season. That, however, was in June, and since then there hadn’t been a whole lot going on when it comes to Juve’s potential pursuit of Kostic, thus creating the notion that Agresti suggested — it was maybe more of a one-sided deal than we originally thought.
Well, that probably can be thrown out now.
As we watched Juventus go through the preseason tour in the United States with no natural left winger on the roster, the things that Allegri tried — essentially playing Moise Kean or Juan Cuadrado out wide on the left — didn’t exactly go all that well. With the Kostic rumors picking back up again, it’s pretty clear that trying to bring in somebody who is a natural left winger and can play there — and also allow Federico Chiesa to slow play his return to the field and starting position — was a point of emphasis during Wednesday’s meeting.
The obvious hurdle to get over is just how much Juve may be willing to spend on Kostic, with the rejected West Ham offer giving us a clue that Frankfurt are going to be playing some hard ball in negotiations. (You know, as they are perfectly OK to do.) Is Juve really willing to come close to matching that €20 million price point and meet Frankfurt’s demands? Or could Kostic’s desire to be a Juventus player actually play into Federico Cherubini’s hands as negotiations progress?
It’s all set to play out over the next week or two. But at least we know one thing: Juventus is actually targeting a left winger to, you know, play on the left wing.