Juventus Transfer News: Juve Ramp Up Stevan Jovetic Pursuit
Fiorentina enjoyed a great 2012-13 campaign and finished in fourth, just two points behind AC Milan and UEFA Champions League qualification. Losing Jovetic would certainly hurt, as Fiorentina's No. 8 has emerged as one of the best players in Serie A.
Should he be sold, it could open the door for Giuseppe Rossi to enter the first team, as he seems to have recovered from a long-term injury and was substituted on in Fiorentina's last match of the season.
Rossi was fantastic during his time at Villarreal and la Viola paid a cut price of €9.5 million to sign the Italian forward. It could take a while, if he does at all, for Rossi to return to form after suffering multiple knee injuries, but should he get back to playing like he did during his time in La Liga, €9.5 million would be a bargain.
Jovetic seemingly put an end to Arsenal's pursuit of him when he announced that he did not wish to leave Italy, opening the door for a move within Serie A. Italian champions Juventus have been keen to bolster their attacking options ahead of the new season in order to make a deep run in the UEFA Champions League and are rumored suitors of the Fiorentina hitman.
If you were Fiorentina, who would you take?
Football-Italia (via Gazzetta dello Sport) is reporting that €18 million, plus midfielder Mauricio Isla and either Sebastian Giovinco, Alessandro Matri, Fabio Quagliarella or Luca Marrone, could be enough to convince the Florence-based side to part with their star.
Juventus already began to address their attack when they announced Athletic Bilbao striker Fernando Llorente will arrive on a Bosman this summer. The 28-year-old Spanish international lost his starting role after a falling out with coach Marcelo Bielsa, but a prominent role could propel the Juve attack to new heights. The Llorente deal has the potential to be the Serie A Bosman signing of the year, much like Riccardo Montolivo was for Milan this season.
The Bianconeri have a world-class defense, featuring three of the world's best centre-backs in Giorgio Chiellini, Leonardo Bonucci and Andrea Barzagli. Their midfield trio of Claudio Marchisio, pass-master Andrea Pirlo and the all-action Arturo Vidal also ranks amongst the world's best.
Stephan Lichsteiner and Kwadwo Asamoah are two very industrious wing-backs and get through a ton of work on the flanks. Oh, and they have the legendary Gianluigi Buffon in goal. All Juve is really missing is the attack to pair with these other areas before they become serious contenders in Europe's premier club competition.
Antonio Conte generally employs a 3-5-2 and at times will use a 3-4-2-1. Jovetic could fit in either formation, playing alongside another striker in a 3-5-2 or playing just behind the lone striker in the 3-4-2-1.
Vincenzo Montella used a one striker system at Fiorentina, but their style of play involved lots of link-up play, which should translate very well to both Juve systems. Llorente may be the preferred lone striker in the 3-4-2-1 because he's a target man, but Jovetic also has the versatility to play in that role.
In 31 appearances this season, Jovetic has scored 13 goals and provided five assists. He's a complete forward and the only attacking aspect of his game that is thought to be lacking is his crossing ability, but in Juve's system, he won't be leaned on to cross.
Who would you rather see Juventus sign?
At just 23 years old, he has significant first-team experience, making 115 appearances during his time at Fiorentina. Adding Jovetic to a squad with that much talent around him could see his goal-scoring reach the next level and alter Juve's attack for the better.
La Vecchia Signora currently have a plethora of options at striker including Mirko Vucinic, Fabio Quagliarella, Sebastian Giovinco and Alessandro Matri.
Jovetic's compatriot Vucinic is arguably the best of the bunch, but he's only scored 10 times in 31 league matches.
30-year-old Fabio Quagliarella was utilized mostly as a substitute, making 14 of his 27 Serie A appearances off the bench. He did chip in nine goals while he was on the pitch.
Giovinco is a talent but he's fallen short of the lofty expectations that were placed on him. He scored seven goals and assisted on six in his 31 league matches.
Matri has the best goals per game ratio, with eight in 22 games, 12 of which came as a sub, but he seems to be low-man on the totem pole.
All in all, Juve have balanced albeit unspectacular strikers. They are solid finishers but this area is Juve's weakest and reinforcements would be welcomed. Adding a player of Jovetic's ability could go a long way and give Conte the prolific striker he's been looking for.
Not only would Jovetic help on the European front, but he could make Juventus the favorites to win Serie A for years to come and see la Vecchia Signora win a string of titles in the coming years, much like Inter did between 2005 and 2010.
€18 million plus two players is a hefty sum, but considering the return, it's a reasonable one. Isla has not played well, and Jovetic would take the spot of either Giovinco, Quagliarella or Matri, should Fiorentina choose to go with a forward over Marrone.
The Turin side can certainly use a player of Jovetic's quality, and adding him to the team could be transformative.
The Football-Italia article also states that Juve are prepared to offer Jovetic the No. 10 jersey, the number made famous by Juve's all-time leading goalscorer, the legendary Alessandro Del Piero. That gesture in it of itself shows the type of promise that Jovetic has and just how highly Juve regard him.
If the Bianconeri can sign Jovetic, they'll have their new No. 10 and a man to lead the line for the next decade.
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