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Why Alexis Sanchez Could Be Juventus' Big Summer Signing

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Why Alexis Sanchez Could Be Juventus' Big Summer Signing
Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Alexis Sanchez might just be the final piece in the jigsaw this summer for Juventus.

Fernando Llorente has already confirmed his arrival in Turin this summer, having signed a pre-contract agreement with the Bianconeri which will enable the Spaniard to join from Athletic Bilbao this summer on a free transfer.

With Mirko Vucinic's form patchy, Juve will be looking for some added competition, or at least something a little bit different that would also leave room for Antonio Conte to involve the Montenegrin in the lineup.

There have been widespread rumours in the Peninsula this month that the Old Lady are targeting Barcelona's Sanchez, and Italian sports daily Gazzetta dello Sport reported that contact has already been made.

Sanchez would be the perfect player to enable Conte to increase the effectiveness of his 3-5-2 whilst also providing him with the option of changing to something a little more expansive, such as a 4-3-3.

Sanchez is used to shining in this formation and has already done so in Italian football during his very successful spell at Udinese, which makes things even better for Juventus.

The Chilean starred in the hole behind Antonio Di Natale, who tended to engage in more intricate buildup than would be likely if Sanchez was partnered with Llorente, but the prospect of a fruitful partnership is more probable than not.

Conte might also be intrigued by the way that Sanchez has been utilised as a wide man in Barcelona's 4-3-3 and could see this as a secondary option to involve Vucinic and Llorente alongside Sanchez whilst also maintaining their formidable trio of centre-midfielders.

The speed and directness of Sanchez will certainly give the Bianconeri something different, especially given Kwadwo Asamoah's dip in form since coming back from the African Nations Cup.

The midfield runs from Claudio Marchisio and national team colleague Arturo Vidal will also give Sanchez the possibility to replicate that cutting edge style of play that he became so successful with Di Natale at Udinese.

There is a precaution that needs to be considered by Juventus, though. Sanchez has hardly shone at Barcelona and will probably need some time to adjust to a side that is depending on him to inspire them after he has spent two seasons in a team entirely focused on one player, Lionel Messi.

The bonus for Juventus will be that Barcelona will likely sell the former River Plate star at a discount, having signed with the Blaugrana for €26 million in 2011.

If comments from Ronaldo (via Australian FourFourTwo) are to be believed, then Barcelona could be set to focus their attention on signing Brazilian prodigy Neymar, who will come at a premium cost from Santos.

With Tito Vilanova's tendency to utilise Pedro a lot more than was the case with Pep Guardiola last season, as well as the emergence of Cristian Tello, Barcelona could be set to raise funds for such a move through Sanchez.

With Sanchez being just 24 years old, he has yet to reach his peak, and while the experience with Barcelona has not been wholly successful, it will have improved him as a player. Combine that with his success in Italian football and the added versatility that he can now offer, and Sanchez should be Juve's big summer signing.

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