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Report: Juventus, Sassuolo open talks over potential Domenico Berardi deal

What seems like an annual tradition is back again.

US Sassuolo v AC Monza - Serie A Photo by Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images

We are nearly 10 years to the day in which Domenico Berardi officially became a Juventus player. Or, should we say, half of his contract was purchased by Juventus in a deal with Sassuolo, one of the final co-ownership deals that meant something in Serie A — a time and era that definitely seems very, very far away.

Yet, 10 years later, Juventus may still be trying to scratch their Berardi itch.

According to SportItalia transfer reporter Alfredo Pedulla on Tuesday evening, Juventus and Sassuolo have opened talks over a potential Berardi signing in the final weeks of the summer transfer window. Juve have reportedly submitted their first offer for the 29-year-old Berardi — who they initially signed on a co-ownership deal as a teenager in 2013 — worth between €22-23 million, with the possibility of including a player like Matias Soulé or even Samuel Iling-Junior to bring the transfer fee down. Sassuolo, though, is asking upward of €30 million for Berardi and may not exactly be open to any players included in the deal.

Pedulla has also reported that Juventus and Berardi have already agreed to terms.

Also from Pedulla: The distance between the two clubs is not far apart and that Juve could sell another player or two to generate more funds that would then allow them to close a deal for Berardi, who signed a contract extension with Sassuolo through 2027 all of 12 months ago.

After over a decade at Sassuolo, the question we’ve basically been asking ourselves for much of that time still rings true: Is this the year in which Berardi leaves the comfort of Reggio Emilia and heads to a big club in Serie A? He’s been the big fish for years now, and has flirted with leaving Sassuolo more than a few times, only to remain despite there being a whole lot of speculation regarding his future.

It doesn’t matter if it’s been Juventus, Milan, Roma or Inter, Berardi has been linked — or even seen his camp be in talks — with a move away from Sassuolo over the years.

Yet, he hasn’t gone anywhere, shaking off the chatter to continuously put up some of the better numbers in Serie A year after year.

But at the age of 29, could this be Berardi’s last chance at a move to a big club? Or, could this also be Sassuolo’s last chance to really cash in on a guy who has seemingly always had interest in leaving but never actually left. There’s no denying that Sassuolo would love to keep him, but there’s also the reality of this maybe being the time where Berardi actually chooses to leave a club he’s given so much to.

Talk has already started about what Juve’s formation could look like if Berardi does in fact arrive. Could there be a 3-4-3 in the cards? (Maybe, but we all know that Max Allegri wants as much cover in the midfield as possible and the 3-5-2 gives him that.) The bigger question, though, is who might have to leave in order for Juve to actually be able to spend anything close to Sassuolo’s asking price. We know how Sassuolo operate. While the front office is new, this ain’t the first rodeo between Juve and Sassuolo when it comes to negotiating a transfer fee. So we’ll see where it goes — and if the summer of 2023 is the time in which Berardi actually ends up leaving Sassuolo once and for all.