Considering the fact that two of Juventus’ most talented midfielders are looking at lengthy suspensions right in the face, there’s very much a need for a new face or two to arrive during the January transfer window. With how Juventus’ current finances are and how there is no European income coming in this season, spending big come the first month of 2024 doesn’t seem like it might be in the cards.
But necessity might take precedence over cash-strapped money situation.
So who could it be?
According to Italian transfer reporter Nicolo Schira, it could a player who Juve might not have expected to still potentially be available a couple of months ago. That’s because Udinese midfielder Lazar Samardzic looked all set to move to the narazzurro side of the San Siro before things with Inter fell apart and he remained with his current team through the final days of the summer transfer window. That means the 21-year-old Serb — who was a target of new Bianconeri sporting chief Cristiano Giuntoli — is still available for the right price, with Juve said to be “monitoring” the situation in advance of a potential move come the January transfer window.
Schira says that no talks or possible negotiations have taken place thus far, while Juventus could provide Samardzic with a serious pay raise — going from €425,000 with Udinese to three times that if he were to move to Turin in a couple of months.
#Juventus are monitoring Lazar #Samardzic. Giuntoli already wanted him at Napoli last year. The midfielder earns only €0,425M at #Udinese and #Juve are ready to offer him triple salary. No opened talks between the clubs yet. He is very close friends with #Vlahovic and #Yildiz— Nicolò Schira (@NicoSchira) October 16, 2023
Samardzic, who recently said that he still very much wants to move to a big club as soon as possible, looked all set to join Inter during the summer transfer window. That deal, however, never got across the finish line, with unexpected financial demands from the player’s entourage causing the deal to stall out at the 11th hour. Inter CEO Beppe Marotta blames “a breakdown in communication” between the two sides for the deal falling through in mid-August.
There has not been much talk of Inter going back in for Samardzic, one of the best young midfielders in Serie A at the moment. And because of that, it could be the opening that Juventus needs to bring some much-needed oomph to a position group that has been very up and down so far this season. (That was also the case before Paul Pogba popped a failed doping test and Nicolo Fagioli’s gambling issues came to light.)
A potential stumbling block in Juventus’ pursuit of Samardzic besides the financial aspect of the deal could simply be Udinese’s status in Serie A heading into the new year. As of now, Udinese sits just outside of the relegation zone, a point ahead of 18th-place Empoli. They’ve scored just four goals through their first eight games — Samardzic has two of them — and selling their best player so far this season could be a major blow to their prospects of staying in Serie A beyond the spring.