Juventus: Rating the Likelihood of the Bianconeri's Rumoured Summer Deals
Another season, another Scudetto for Juventus. Antonio Conte's side was by far the best in Italy, and though they eventually lost heavily to Bayern Munich, the way in which the Germans dismantled Barcelona in the following round suggests that Juve have little to be ashamed of.
This summer will be more about refinement than renovation, but some key additions remain essential if this generation of Bianconeri are to become great rather than just very good.
So who's being linked, and how likely is the move?
In: Gonzalo Higuain
Rumours around a move for Real Madrid's Gonzalo Higuain are quickly gaining traction, and the signing has some high profile supporters.
Juve desperately need more striker options, even with the arrival of Fernando Llorente, of Athletic Club Bilbao, on a free move.
Of the forward line, only Mirko Vucinic got into double figures this season, and the bizarre additions of Nicklas Bendtner and Nicolas Anelka proved to be utterly fruitless. Conte needs regular goal threats up front to push on with this squad, and someone like Higuain would be ideal in front of what is one of the best midfields in world football.
If they only made one signing this summer and it was the Madrid front man, it would be a successful transfer campaign.
8/10 on likelihood, 10/10 on importance.
In: Carlos Tevez
The club are denying there's any interest, according to ESPN.co.uk, but with Manchester City being linked to Radamel Falcao and Neymar, it seems that someone behind the scenes is interested in new attacking talent. With that, Carlos Tevez is starting to look like being surplus to requirements at Eastlands.
The occasionally-controversial Argentinian divides fans, but there's no questioning his goal-scoring record during his time with the Citizens. 58 in 107 league games is an impressive tally in the EPL; Juve could certainly do with more potency up front.
That said, the way in which he left Manchester United and then temporarily abandoned City in 2011 will have some Juventini worried that he's more trouble than he's worth.
Sporting director Beppe Marotta certainly has no such concerns, even going so far as to suggest that Tevez is a more attractive proposition than Higuain. Speaking to Sky Sports, he said:
I have to say that Higuain is a bit younger and has a higher market value. Tevez on the other hand has a year left on his contract so maybe between the two, the Tevez deal is easier.
We are not the first to notice his quality and experience. He is a player with a big desire to rebuild his career. Nevertheless, he is owned by City and we have made no approach to them. It is obvious that even in the event of an agreement with the player, the club still has an important say.
Out: Stephan Lichtsteiner
As one of the Bianconeri's most consistent performers, letting go of Stephan Lichtsteiner makes little sense. But sense has no place in the world of football transfers, and so the rumours persist.
In the UK, talksport.co.uk are the latest to suggest that the Swiss full-back is edging closer to the exit in Turin, with Arsenal being touted as his next destination. The former Lazio man was the first player to score in the new Juventus stadium but is said to be worried he'll feature less next season for Conte.
“The chances of Lichsteiner leaving will depend on what Antonio Conte wants to do tactically," talkSPORT quotes FIFA agent Andrea Pretti as saying before adding: "If he does leave, Juventus will find a suitable replacement.” Easier said than done, Andrea.
Chance of happening? 2/10.
In: Marco Verratti
A lot of the transfer focus for Juve this summer is rightly on the attack, but some of their budget would be well spent on Paris Saint-Germain's young midfielder Marco Verratti.
His agent has just come out to deny rumours of a move away from the French capital, per goal.com, but the player has made no secret of the fact that long-term, he sees himself back in Italy.
Verratti is the ideal understudy and replacement for sublimely talented, but not immortal, Andrea Pirlo. I've written about how a move for the former Pescara star would make good sense for Juve and nothing's changed. It's a long shot, but it would be a stellar addition.
Out: Claudio Marchisio
Claudio Villa/Getty Images
On the face of it, it makes little sense to break up Juventus' almost flawless midfield. Nevertheless, rumours persist about Claudio Marchisio's future laying somewhere other than Turin, per the Metro.
Juve don't need the reported £20 million that Manchester United are willing to offer for the impressive Italian, especially since they've just signed a sponsorship deal with electronics giant Samsung worth €120 million, per Italian source Mediaset Sport.
The player, on the other hand, might be tempted by the £120,000-a-week, five-year deal which the papers suggest he'd be offered. This one seems unlikely and would be a step back for the Bianconeri, but it could happen.
In: Stevan Jovetic
According to the Mirror in the UK, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is getting ready to splash upward of £70 million this summer, with a chunk of it earmarked for Fiorentina star Stevan Jovetic. The Frenchman faces stiff competition from Juve however, because the Old Lady are said to be extremely interested in the talented Montenegrin.
In an interview with Football Italia, Jovetic's international teammate Mirko Vucinic said this:
I am not surprised Arsenal are interested in him because he is a top striker, but I have told him to stay in Italy. Juventus are back competing in Europe and it would be an excellent move for him and us.
Understandably, Fiorentina are loathe to sell such a talented player to a rival, especially as Vincenzo Montella is seeking to build a team that can mount a credible challenge to the Turin giants in the coming years.
That said, the player seems keen to stay in Serie A, per ibtimes.com, and few others could meet the Viola's lofty asking price of €35 million. Decent chance of this happening, and just the thought of it should have Juventini very excited.