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Reports: Juve ‘closing in’ on deal for Southampton midfielder Carlos Alcaraz

Guessing he’s the second most-known Carlos Alcaraz in the world.

Southampton FC v Sheffield Wednesday - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

Juventus’ search for a new midfielder before the January transfer window closes on Wednesday night has expanded beyond Europe’s top five leagues. And it looks like they are closing in on a potential solution who currently plays in England’s second division.

According to reports from Fabrizio Romano, Sky Italia’s Gianluca Di Marzio and Relevo’s Matteo Moretto, Juventus and English Championship side Southampton are in talks over a deal for 21-year-old Argentine midfielder Carlos Alcaraz. (No, not that Carlos Alcaraz.) The reports also say that there is very much a sense of optimism that Juventus can get the deal done before Wednesday’s deadline and Alcaraz could very well be in Turin within the next 24 hours to undergo his medical exam to give Max Allegri the midfielder he desires before the month of January comes to an end.

It will be on an initial loan deal with Romano reporting Juve’s option to buy would be “higher than £35 million.” Others have reported that the option to buy could cost Juve upward of €40 million.

Go ahead and get your tennis jokes out of your system now. Go for it. You’re not alone here. It’s just especially convenient that Juve being close to signing somebody named Carlos Alcaraz just a few days after Allegri was talking about Jannik Sinner and Novak Djokovic during his pre-match press conference over the weekend. Maybe it was all a sign. You never know!

But to call this name an unexpected one is certainly the case. It was just 24 hours ago that Juve were being linked to, amongst others, two veteran midfielders in their mid-30s in Jack Bonaventura and Roberto Pereyra, two players who are very familiar to Allegri having coached them in the past. Alcaraz, though? He’s all of 21 years old and has been in England for a little over a year after arriving from Racing Club in Argentina in early January 2023.

In 23 games with Southampton this season, Alcaraz has scored three goals and added an assist. While he is a right-footed player, he has played a lot on the left so far this season, and is capable of playing multiple positions in the midfield — which, with Allegri, could be something that indicates why Juve have suddenly gone after him following links to Bonaventura and Pereyra.

Considering Juve have a buy option rather than an obligation to buy, this seems like it will be a five-month trial in Serie A more than anything for Alcaraz, who received his first call-up to the Argentine national team back in October. He has yet to receive his first cap with Argentina.