As the transfer window drew near, Juventus fans began to get desperate. They made sacrifices to the soccer gods. They pleaded with whatever deity they prayed to.
Please, they begged, whatever power that is. Please get Juventus some strikers.
Of course, they knew that one bit of help was already on the way.
Fernando Llorente had agreed to a deal to come to the Bianconeri in the waning days of the January transfer window, but the Spanish international would not pull on the black and white stripes until after his contract with Athletic Bilbao was expired. The Old Lady of Italian Football would have to wait for her man for another few months.
Llorente underwent a physical examination Monday and was set to be unveiled Tuesday. The week before, Beppe Marotta signed Carlos Tevez from Manchester City. The move finally gave him the "top player" Italy's champions had been waiting for the last two summers—only to find the likes of Mirko Vucinic and Nicklas Bendtner poking their heads out of Juve shirts instead.
The Turin giants are looking to further reinforce their strike force, and Fiorentina striker Stevan Jovetic has been a prime target for a long time.
However, there are several obstacles to the Montenegrin forward coming to Turin.
The first is financial. Juve refused to go much farther than €22 million for Real Madrid's Gonzalo Higuain, and Fiorentina brass have been adamant that they will not accept a bid of less than €30 million.
Some, like ESPN FC's Miguel Delaney, believe that Juve are waiting La Viola out for a lower price. Delaney, for one, thinks that the Bianconeri will get their man and at a discount price.
But it's looking less and less likely. A main component of that is the second major obstacle—the political one.
The relationship between Juventus and Fiorentina is not a good one. The two cities are close to each other and have been on-field rivals for years. Things took a turn for the worse after the transfer of Roberto Baggio.
Last summer's allegations of sabotage when both clubs were in pursuit of then-Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov further deteriorated relations.
"Difficulties in our relationship has made any deal difficult," Marotta told the team's official web site, via ESPN FC.
Marotta has confirmed talks with Torino president Urbano Cairo, but there are sticking points.
According to Football Italia, Juventus wants to include 50 percent of the rights to striker Ciro Immobile in the deal. This comes as a problem for Genoa, which currently holds a co-ownership of the U-21 international. Grifone president was quoted by Football Italia as saying that, "Juventus cannot include him in any negotiations without us."
Still, it is likely that a deal can be reached, and the center-back—once a key target of AC Milan—is likely to join the two-time defending champions, where he will serve as depth and an eventual replacement to Andrea Barzagli.
While Jovetic would be an excellent addition to a revamped Juventus front line, the financial demands of Fiorentina and the frosty relationship between the clubs doesn't inspire much confidence that a deal can get done. Ogbonna, on the other hand, is looking likely to switch sides in Turin and take a place in the country's best side.
Either addition would be a great reinforcement to the side, but with other clubs in the hunt for Jovetic and no other serious talks being had about Ogbonna, the latter is the far more likely deal.
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