Oh boy, here we go again.
Just one day after the Bianconeri celebrated a big win over Danish side Nordsjaelland in the UEFA Champions League, Juventus director Beppe Marotta reminded all of the team's fans of the financial crisis that still holds a firm grip on Italian football.
Goal.com broke the news in an article they seem to be recycling every two weeks. The organisation seems determined to make it very clear to the Bianconeri faithful that, given the current economical climate, it is impossible for the team to sign any big names to help bolster the attack—which has been a major area of need for the past 18 months.
Everyone knew this already.
This time, however, the message coming out of Turin on Thursday was different than during the previous weeks.
Along with Marotta's statement, Yahoo!Sport UK & Ireland reported that Juventus are interested in signing Benfica's Oscar Cardozo (via AS.com.)
Notice the last line in the article: "Juventus could move for Cardozo if a move for Athlectic Bilbao's Fernando Llorente fails."
Llorente has been a target for the Bianconeri since August. He hasn't been playing for Bilbao since not being able to secure a move away from the Spanish side last summer. He'll be a free agent at the end of this season, and his agent has already made it clear Llorente wants to come to Turin (per FourFourTwo.com.)
Bilbao needs to sell him in January or he'll walk for free.
It seemed almost a certainty (as far as that is possible in football) that Llorente would be joining the Bianconeri during the winter transfer window.
And yet, going by the latest reports coming out of Turin, there seems to be a good chance that Juventus fans might once again be left disapointed as January comes to a close.
The issue isn't the money Bilbao will be asking for their star striker; it's the wages such a player will demand.
We've seen this before. Robin Van Persie. Edinson Cavani. Edin Dzeko. Stevan Jovetic. All these players were at some point reportedly "close" to signing with Juventus.
Fans spent countless hours dreaming about goals to come and debating how their new super striker would be utilised best, only to learn that the player in question made the decision to stay with his current team or pick a club with more money.
Why would January be different?
The names might have changed (Llorente, Robert Lewandowski, Theo Walcott and Isco) but the situation really hasn't. Juventus might be a fantastic club with a rich history and a good shot at some silverware, but the main priority for any free agent will always be money.
Italian football is going through a serious crisis, and perhaps it is time for the fans to accept this. AC is interested in Pep Guardiola? Sure. Inter wants to bring back Mario Balotelli? Good luck.
And Juventus want to upgrade their striker situation? Maybe Arsenal have another fifth stringer rotting on the bench they can bring in on loan.
Oscar Cardozo is a fine player who could help this team a lot, but he's not the player fans have been waiting for. It's not the name fans have been hearing since August.
But given Juve's recent history, he just might be the only player the club can get.
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