It looks like Juventus’ new sporting chief has swooped in and snatched a potential transfer target away from Inter for the first time since coming to Turin. And while it may not be to the financial scale as the one two summers ago, it’s still very much a good development.
So go ahead and chalk one up for Cristiano Giuntoli over Beppe Marotta.
That’s because Juventus have closed the deal for Lille defender Tiago Djaló, according to reports out of Italy on Tuesday. While Inter were trying to have the 23-year-old Portuguese center back be their latest Marotta free transfer and bring him in over the summer, Juve swooped in and offered Lille an immediate sum of cash with the potential for more down the road. Juventus, according to the likes of Sky Sport Italia’s Gianluca Di Marzio and others in Italy, will pay an initial fee of €3.5 million with another €3.5 million in bonuses for Djaló, who will sign a 4 1⁄2-year contract with the Turin giants.
Lille will also receive 10% of any future sale, according to reports.
Djaló, who still hasn’t made his official comeback after suffering a major knee injury last March, will reportedly be in Turin for his medical exams at some point next week.
Considering the fact that Juventus’ current financial status is what it is, spending a few million euros is something that we might not have figured would happen unless it came for a desperately-needed midfielder or something along those lines. But, when it comes to a defender — and one that has yet to play this season due to the injury he suffered 10 months ago — it’s clearly Giuntoli identifying an opportunity to strike now rather than risk losing a talented player to Juve’s biggest rival.
With Djaló — who has yet to be capped by Portugal’s senior national team — coming off the injury that he is, there’s probably going to be a little more interest in his medical exams than there is for other players who are coming in. Since he is closing in on being a year out from the initial injury and surgery, the potential of him getting some minutes as the second half of the season goes on should become more and more likely. Plus, with Dean Huijsen now out on loan at Roma for the rest of the 2023-24 campaign, simply getting some depth back is a nice thing to have.
Now that Djaló is just a couple of steps away from being a Juventus player, how he fits into Max Allegri’s puzzle for the rest of the season is going to be quite the interesting thing to watch. Will he simply be a backup as he works his way from his major knee injury or could he be in contention for a starting spot once the second half of the season hits its final couple of months? It’s a nice problem to have even if we don’t know where he fits in quite yet.