Many believe that Italy’s most successful club Juventus are a long way away from winning what would be a 28th (or a 30th – depending on who you support) Scudetto. Since the ‘Calciopoli’ match-fixing scandal that rocked Italian football back in 2006, the Bianconeri have failed to challenge in any competition, with exception to the 2006/07 Serie B championship, which they comfortably won.
Despite this, they are currently looking as good as ever on the rumour mill, expressing interest in, and being linked to a number of top class performers, who would undoubtedly add the spark and class required to aid the club in their quest for another Italian title.
Having already captured the likes of Andrea Pirlo, Reto Ziegler and Michele Pazienza all on free transfers, the Old Lady have made a solid start to this summer’s transfer period. Antonio Conte has been unveiled as the new coach, Lazio right-back Stephan Lichtsteiner looks set to become the next signing after passing a medical, and they have also spent just under €40 million to secure the outright services of Alessandro Matri, Fabio Quagliarella, Simone Pepe and Marco Motta.
Things are looking bright in Turin, and with a reported €50 million to spend this summer, and an additional €120 million to be injected in December, who should the club set their sights on?
Undoubtedly the biggest name linked to the club this summer, Atletico Madrid superstar Sergio Aguero would be the perfect addition to Conte’s squad. For so long Juventus have relied on talisman Alessandro Del Piero up front, however with the captain entering the twilight years of his career, they must place their faith in a younger hitman, who will be able to serve the club well over the next decade.
Aguero is almost certain to leave Atletico in the coming weeks, however along with the interest shown by Real Madrid, the Argentine’s €45 million price tag may prove to be too much for the Bianconeri at this stage. Nevertheless, the latest reports continue to indicate he will join the club in the coming week, a move that would surely mark the commencement of a Juventus resurgence.
In addition to their lack of quality up front, Juve have a number of defensive dilemmas – mainly on the flanks – that continue to cause them problems. As mentioned, Lichtsteiner and Ziegler have been called in to help ease these issues, however a player in the form of Michel Bastos would be the perfect signing for next season, and for the future.
The Old Lady have been linked with the Lyon man in recent years, and simply must acquire his services this time around, if they wish to at least reclaim a spot in the UEFA Champions League, amongst the continent’s elite, in the 2012/13 season. The Brazilian will add a touch of class to the club’s inconsistent defensive ranks, and will slot in nicely alongside the likes of Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci at the back.
Juve have openly declared that Aguero is their main target for the summer, however should they fail to reach an agreement with Atletico, they will have to consider other options for the summer. Want away Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez has been touted as a potential addition to the squad, however rumours of his arrival have eased recently. Roma attacker Mirko Vucinic is another name that has been thrown up in the air, as has Real Madrid’s Gonzalo Higuain and Karim Benzema. Should Aguero’s proposed move to the Bianconeri fail to go through however, it is expected that the Villarreal hotshot Giuseppe Rossi will become the primary attacking target. In midfield, the Bianconeri have been linked to Lassana Diarra of Real Madrid, and Udinese’s Gokhan Inler, both of whom would add composure and class to an improving Bianconeri midfield.
Despite having already acquired two quality fullbacks in Lichtsteiner and Ziegler, Juventus must focus on the signing of Bastos, at least one world-class striker – preferably Aguero, another central midfielder, and perhaps a winger for the 2011/12 campaign.
Who should Juventus sign this summer?