Has the Time Come for Juventus to Sell Claudio Marchisio?

Adam Digby@@Adz77Featured ColumnistFebruary 28, 2014

TURIN, ITALY - FEBRUARY 16:  Claudio Marchisio of Juventus salutes at the end of the Serie A match between Juventus and AC Chievo Verona at Juventus Arena on February 16, 2014 in Turin, Italy.  (Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images)
Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

The question “should Juventus sell Claudio Marchisio?” is not a complex issue. It is not something that requires lengthy debate nor will it divide fans of the Italian club, for the answer is exceedingly simple.

For newspapers and other outlets looking to sell copies or gather hits, discussing the future of the 28-year-old has been a reliable topic for quite some time. Yet a departure from the club he joined over 20 years ago has never really been close to becoming a reality and nor should it.

A transfer, any transfer, has three elements to take into consideration. When all three align, a deal happens and, on rare occasions, a combination of two of them can force a sale.

Firstly, there is the buying club who must be willing to pay for the move and sign the player in question to a deal in order to fill a need within their squad.

Manchester United are the club most often connected with a move for Marchisio, and it is clear his dynamic style is something so desperately lacking in David Moyes’ side.

The struggling Premier League Champions have limped from one poor performance to another, and the Italian international would represent a marked increase in quality in that department. Occasional midfielder Phil Jones is the only player at Old Trafford to average more than Marchisio’s 2.4 tackles per game, according to stats site WhoScored.

With the ball, his goalscoring ability is perhaps the major advantage he has over the current collection of United midfielders. Michael Carrick has netted just 26 league goals in a career spanning over 430 appearances to lead all United’s midfielders, with Marouane Fellaini (25 goals in 150 Premier League games) just behind.

Antonio Calanni/Associated Press

Darren Fletcher (18 in 206) and Jones (1 in 94) round out a goal-shy bunch, while Marchisio has already notched 27 in 166 Serie A games for Juventus. With 23 assists in that same time, only Carrick (34) can boast having created more league goals than the man his coach visited Cagliari to watch, per Paul Clenham at Goal.com.

With him identified as a target by the beleaguered Manchester United manager, the second component to a transfer would be the selling club.

Unfortunately for Moyes, Juventus have no intention of releasing a player who scored his first goal of the season in that closely scrutinised game, running to the visitors bench to hug Juve coach Antonio Conte.

“There is no problem,” club director Beppe Marotta said on Radio Rai (h/t FootballItalia). “He has worn this shirt since he was eight years old and he loves these colours. Over the season there are many commitments and every player experiences periods of fewer minutes, but all is normal.

“I know him well and I can say with certainty that there is no case. The embrace between Claudio and Conte is a precise example of this.”

Despite him having fallen behind Paul Pogba, Arturo Vidal and Andrea Pirlo, his current club are unwilling to listen to offers for Marchisio. Juventus and Conte recognise that to compete at the highest level, three top midfielders are not enough, making them desperate to hold onto their excellent quartet.

Many examples have shown that a club cannot stop a move if the player in question has a desire to leave. No side can realistically retain a member of their squad who has no desire to remain with them but local boy Marchisio is extremely aware of his connection to Juventus and has no desire to break it.

"No one has ever personally come knocking at my door to take me away from Turin," he told JTV (via Goal.com). "But every year, and especially in the summer, there are rumours concerning me.”

"But, in addition to this season, I have two more years on my contract with Juventus. I hope to play for as long as possible at this club, it is not my intention to change clubs."

So, while a potential buyer has been identified, the answer to the question remains as succinct as ever. Has the time come for Juventus to sell Claudio Marchisio? No, just no.


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