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Morata’s replacement, Dybala’s new deal and how Juventus’ January transfer window could look

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The cash-strapped Bianconeri are hoping to offload a number of unwanted players in order to strengthen in key areas

Massimiliano Allegri has quite rightly pointed out that the January transfer market won’t solve all of Juventus’ problems but it could alleviate some of them.

Juve surprisingly pipped Chelsea to top spot in their Champions League group, to set up a last-16 tie with Villarreal, while 13 points from their past five Serie A matches has seen Allegri’s side climb to fifth in the table.

However, there is no hiding the fact that this is a deeply flawed team.

The midfield remains embarrassingly pedestrian and utterly devoid of creativity, while their forward line is painfully profligate, as underlined by the fact that Juve have scored just 27 goals in 19 league games – no other team in the top half of the table has scored fewer.
The Bianconeri clearly need to strengthen in both areas as soon as possible to have any chance of winning a major trophy this season, but the club’s ongoing financial issues mean there is no chance of superstar signings before the close of the current transfer window.
So, what are Juve’s plans for the remainder of the month? GOAL explains all below…

Potential ins

It’s no secret that Juve are crying out for a reliable goalscorer. The timing of Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure for Manchester United, just before the close of the summer transfer window, did the Bianconeri no favours at all.
They managed to bring Moise Kean back from Everton but the talented yet frustrating forward has scored just four goals to date in all competitions.
Alvaro Morata, meanwhile, has just continued to flatter to deceive, so it’s no surprise that Juve have no intention of taking up their option to buy the on-loan Spain striker this summer.
Indeed, the Bianconeri must be delighted that Barcelona have already agreed an 18-month deal with the 29-year-old, who has struck just seven times in Serie A this season.
The cash-strapped Catalans must now finalise a fee with Morata’s parent club, Atletico Madrid, but Juve obviously won’t let him leave until they’ve secured a replacement, given they have no interest in taking Barca’s Memphis Depay or Ousmane Dembele as part of a complicated affair.

Dusan Vlahovic is the dream and the Serbian is keen on making the always contentious trip from Florence to Turin, but Juve are just not in a position right now to sign one of the most in-demand and on-form No.9s in world football.

Fiorentina are demanding €80 million (£68m/$90m) for a player that is also attracting interest from Premier League clubs. Consequently, Juve must look elsewhere for now, with a loan deal their most likely solution to their striking problem.

On the surface, a move for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang appears to make sense for everyone involved. The Gabon international has been stripped of the Arsenal captaincy and he is free to leave. Juve, though, would not be in a position to cover his massive salary.

Manchester United duo Edinson Cavani and Anthony Martial have also been mentioned but both seem more likely to go elsewhere, but the former could end up staying at Old Trafford for the remainder of the 2021-22 campaign, while the former appears more likely to end up at Sevilla.

The Bianconeri have an excellent relationship with Sassuolo, as underlined once again by the very favourable deal they agreed with the Neroverdi for Manuel Locatelli during the summer, and they would dearly love to sign the 22-year-old on loan with a view to a permanent transfer at the end of the season.

However, Inter are well and truly in the hunt for Scamacca’s signature and the Nerazzurri appear more willing to meet the €45m (£37m/$51m) asking price.

The Napoli-owned Milik is on loan to Marseille and supposed to make the move permanent this summer, but the Pole is unsettled at the Stadio Velodrome and came close to joining the Bianconeri in the past.

It’s a similar story with Icardi. Allegri is a fan of the former Inter captain’s predatory skills but there are two issues here: Icardi’s wages (€9m a year) and Paris Saint-Germain’s reluctance to let the Argentine leave on loan.

The Ligue 1 leaders want to find a buyer for Icardi, who rarely starts at the Parc des Princes, but Juve may not be willing to commit to a permanent deal for a man whose life often resembles a soap opera.

Elsewhere, despite intense competition for his services, Juve are well-placed to bring in Denis Zakaria but not until his Borussia Monchengladbach contract expires at the end of the season.

Potential outs

If Juve are to have any chance of making a major move in January, they are going to have to cash in on at least one player deemed surplus to requirements by Allegri.

Dejan Kulusevski could easily bring in a significant sum of money. Allegri appears to have very little faith in the versatile attacker, who has featured in 16 Serie A games this season but, tellingly, started only four.

However, Kulusevski has plenty of admirers in England, with Arsenal, whom he nearly joined as a teenager, and Tottenham both said to be weighing up moves.

A move to Spurs certainly wouldn’t come as a surprise, given it was the club’s current sporting director, Fabio Paratici, who actually signed Kulusevski from Atalanta following the Swede’s sensational loan spell at Parma.

Adrien Rabiot has also been linked with a move to the Premier League. Nobody at Juve doubts the Frenchman’s talent but he’s failed to justify his €7m-a-season (£5.9m/$8m) salary under Maurizio Sarri, Andrea Pirlo and now Allegri – though he has hardly been helped by the latter’s insistence on playing him on the left flank.

Despite talk of a transfer to Newcastle, Juve have yet to receive any firm offers but they would obviously be open to selling an underperforming player who has just 18 months left on his contract.

Weston McKennie, meanwhile, has shown flashes of what he can do since joining from Schalke but there is a feeling at Juve that he lacks the requisite professionalism and discipline to make it at the very highest level, meaning they would accept any decent bid for the United States midfielder.

In defence, Alex Sandro is no longer considered unsellable either, having recently lost his starting spot, and the left-back has attracted interest from England in the past.

Loans

Aaron Ramsey offers living proof that free transfers can be a complete waste of money.

The former Arsenal man may have joined for nothing in 2019 but he was given a basic annual salary of €7m (excluding bonuses). As Tuttosport pointed out last week, that means that that injury-prone midfielder earned €8,928 per minute played in 2021.

Consequently, Juve are desperate to offload the out-of-favour Welshman this month.

Finding a buyer looks impossible at this stage but the Bianconeri are hopeful that a Premier League club could be tempted to take him on loan for the remainder of the season, particularly as they’re willing to contribute to his salary.

Allegri would also be happy to see Arthur leave on loan. Just like Ramsey, the Brazilian has had his fitness issues and does not have the full confidence of the coach either.

Spain would appear to be the most likely destination for the former Barcelona midfielder, who is on €5m (£4.2m/$5.7m) a year, and he could travel to Sevilla once he recovers from Covid-19.

Contracts

Mino Raiola dropped a bombshell by revealing last month that Matthijs de Ligt is ready to take the “next step” in his career.

The Dutch defender still has two years to run on his Juve contract and, contrary to recent reports elsewhere, there is no exclusive €75m (£63m/$85m) buy-out clause for Barcelona.

The true figure is twice that amount and it’s highly unlikely that any club in Europe would be willing to fork out €150m (£126m/$170m) for the centre-back when the clause comes into effect during the summer.

Still, it’s clear that Juve now have a very difficult decision to make. Indeed, there has even been talk that they could allow De Ligt to leave for the right price at the end of the season in order to fund a move for Vlahovic, and bring in two other Raiola clients, Manchester United’s wantaway midfielder Paul Pogba and AC Milan’s out-of-favour centre-half Alessio Romagnoli, on free transfers.

Elsewhere, Federico Bernardeschi has been one of Juve’s better players this season but his contract expires in the summer and it remains to be seen if he will be willing to accept a pay cut in order to extend his time in Turin, particularly with Barcelona again said to be interested

Finally, there’s Paulo Dybala. The Argentine remains Juve’s best attacker and his renewal appeared a formality just a few weeks ago, with Juve keen to wrap up the deal before Dybala was free to talk to other clubs with a view to a summer switch.

Juve are now looking to change the terms of the agreement, by either shortening the proposed five-year deal or linking the salary to a set

number of appearances per season.

The outcome of these long-running talks will have a massive impact on Juve’s transfer activity. If a compromise can’t be found, the Old Lady may be forced to sell Dybala now to avoid losing him for nothing come July.