Last summer, Juventus experienced something that we don’t get to see a lot of the time — they swooped in and beat their old friend at Inter, Beppe Marotta, to a transfer target, snatching Bremer right from under the Nerazzurri’s noses when it looked like he was heading to the San Siro.
While not on the same kind of scale simply because of the transfer fee involved, Juve look to be attempting to do the same kind of thing 18 months later.
According to multiple reports out of Italy on Friday, Juventus have either already overtaken or are trying like hell to overtake Inter in the race to sign Lille center back Tiago Djaló, who is out of contract come the summertime. It comes after many expected the 23-year-old Djaló — who has been with Lille since 2019 — to sign on a free transfer with Inter and become Marotta’s latest free agent acquisition on a roster that is full of low-cost standouts. The key to Juve pulling in front in the race to sign Djaló is that they will reportedly try and sign him this month rather than on a free over the summer, having already tabled a bid of €1.5 million plus bonuses, according to Goal Italia’s Romeo Agresti. Others, like Fabrizio Romano, say that initial fee could be around €3 million or so.
Because of Juventus’ current financial state, they will likely need to make a small sale to fund any sort of immediate move for Djaló. According to Sky Italia’s Gianluca Di Marzio, that could involve selling midfielder Filippo Ranocchia to Serie B side Palermo.
#Juventus: oggi sono previsti nuovi contatti per Tiago Djalò. L’idea dei bianconeri non cambia: bloccarlo subito. E si prova a intensificare il pressing anche con l’entourage del giocatore ⚪️⚫️@GoalItalia— Romeo Agresti (@romeoagresti) January 5, 2024
The catch in Juventus’ (and Inter’s) chase Djaló is the fact that he has yet to play a single minute this season because of a torn ACL in his knee he suffered back in early March last season. His status for this season is still very much an unknown, with a return date not necessarily set in stone despite him being now 10 months out from his initial knee injury.
Previous reports when it looked like he was ready to head to Inter had him quite happy with a potential move to San Siro. But, with Juventus suddenly jumping into the fray, Inter’s have essentially been knocked out of pole position and more talks between Cristiano Giuntoli and Lille are expected at some point next week, according to reports on Friday.
According to Italian transfer reporter Nicolo Schira, Juventus are preparing a contract through 2028 for Djaló, who was once in AC Milan’s youth setup before he signed with Lille.
When it comes to Juventus’ roster construction, you can see why they would want to bring somebody like Djaló on board. With Dean Huijsen heading to Roma on loan for the rest of the 2023-24 season and Alex Sandro essentially perma-injured at this point in his career, simply having another body on the roster is a must for Max Allegri. Obviously there is the caveat that Djaló is coming back from his own injury, but signing him now could also give Juve the chance to slow play his return to the field at their own pace.