Juventus director of football Beppe Marotta has confirmed the club’s interest in Manchester United starlet Adnan Januzaj, Sky Sports understands.
Januzaj, whose current contract expires at the end of the season, scored a match-winning brace on his full English Premier League debut for United against Sunderland last week.
Contract negotiations between the club and Januzaj’s agent Dirk De Vriese are currently ongoing, with the 18-year-old ace reportedly set for a new £60,000-a-week deal at Old Trafford, according to multiple media reports.
Nonetheless, a number of top European clubs, including Juventus, are reportedly interested in the services of Januzaj.
Juve CEO Beppe Marotta has warned the Reds they run the risk of losing their talented youngster this summer, citing the case of Paul Pogba.
“If they fear another case like Pogba’s then they are right,” said Marotta.
“It’s difficult to understand how we can reach a stage eight months prior to the contract expiring without seeing a renewal.
“Januzaj is a player showing big promise. He is a player of great quality.”
Since joining Juventus in the summer of 2012, Pogba has established himself as one of the best midfielders in Europe, having led the France Under-20 side to World Cup glory in Turkey this summer.
The France international, 20, has started the 2013/14 season on fine form for the Italian champions and is set to hold new contract talks with the club in the coming weeks.
“He [Pogba] is fine where he is. We want to renew with Juventus and we have our clear strategy,” Mino Raiola told Tuttosport.
“Paul is very quiet and peaceful here, Juve would have no reason to worry.
“Agnelli has discovered the problem because no one, not only in Italy, but in the world, can refuse an obscene offer. But the fans no longer have to wonder.”
Juve are backed by the bookmakers at 5/2 to win to nil when they travel to the Stadio Artemio Franchi to take on Fiorentina next Sunday (20 October).
Balanta flattered by Barca talk
Balanta, 20, has impressed many scouts in Argentina with his performances for the first-team this season, and rightfully so.
The 20-year-old Colombian stopper has scored two goals in 20 first-team appearances for River Plate over the past two seasons.
Balanta, who can play centre-back as well as left-back, has also recently earned praise from Barcelona star Javier Mascherano.
“As far as I know, there hasn’t been a Colombian playing for Barcelona. I would be the first one in the history of the club,” Balanta told Sport.
“If it’s true, I would be very proud. If it’s not, I will try to keep doing things like I have done up until now.
“I have played a few games in the first division and I have to keep going this way – working hard, doing things correctly with effort and sacrifice, in the same way as all of my team-mates.”
River Plate, currently in 9th-place in the Torneo Inicial table, are scheduled to face Newell’s Old Boys at the Estadio Marcelo Bielsa on Sunday.