Less than 24 hours after news broke that Juventus and Lazio were talking about a deal involving a player that was more than free to find a new club and one who we thought was going to be a part of this season’s squad, things have progressed to the point of being basically done.
Maybe not to your liking, but done nonetheless.
According to multiple reports out of Italy, Juventus and Lazio have agreed to the double signing of fullback Luca Pellegrini (the one who could leave) and midfielder Nicolo Rovella (the one who we thought was going to be part of the squad). When it’s all said and done, Juventus will be paid a total of €21 million for the pair of Italians, with Sky Italia’s Gianluca Di Marzio reporting that both Rovella and Pellegrini will move to Lazio on initial loan deals, the latter on a two-year loan. Both players will have obligations to buy attached to their loans.
Both players still need to finalize contract terms, according to reports.
According to Fabrizio Romano, Juventus are “expected” to use some of the money generated from this move and the soon-to-be sale of Denis Zakaria to Monaco to try and sign a new midfielder ahead of the start of the 2023-24 season. Di Marzio names a trio of midfielders that Juve will likely could after — Sofyan Amrabat of Fiorentina, Arsenal’s Thomas Partey and Strasbourg’s Habib Diarra, who is also reportedly a target of Chelsea (because why wouldn’t he be).
Now, obviously that price tag of €21 million is going to be off-putting to many considering how Rovella was expected to contribute in some sort of way. And considering how inflated transfer fees tend to be these days, selling a promising player — Rovella, not Pellegrini, people — is always going to make things sting a little more.
But the reality of Juventus’ situation is that it’s going to be like this because of the need for money. With Dusan Vlahovic looking like he will stay (for now) and not move to Chelsea (for now because you never truly know) and Federico Chiesa turning down approaches from other clubs, the smaller fish will have to be sold off to make up for the losses that come with no Champions League football. Juve can’t solve the loss of revenue with no Europe in one swoop like might have happened with a Vlahovic sale, so smaller “cuts” have to be made.
Does seeing Rovella go seem not so great? Yes, all throughout his solid loan spell at Monza the thought of seeing him back in Turin for the 2023-24 season and watching him get his first chance on the big stage was quite the appealing one. But, as was noted Thursday, Rovella can also see the logjam of midfielders ahead of him and is more than welcoming this move to Lazio. Juve may like him, but they also need money — so you combine the two and there’s a reason why this is happening.