Moves Juventus Should Make in the Summer Transfer Window
Juventus may yet end this season on a high and consider it a success, with the potential of a league and Europa League double within their grasp.
However, failure to progress out of the group stage of the Champions League will have stung, prompting an inevitable assault on the upcoming summer transfer window.
Antonio Conte knows he needs to alter the way in which he approaches European games from now on, with the tactics that have proved so successful in Italy not transferring as smoothly as he would have liked.
Thoughts about a new formation have surfaced in recent weeks, which could be the basis of their transfer strategy.
Let's take a closer look at three names that the Bianconeri should target.
Juan Manuel Iturbe, Hellas Verona
On loan from Porto, Juan Manuel Iturbe is enjoying his best ever season at Hellas Verona.
The Argentine has starred for the Mastini from a wide position, mostly from the left, dazzling Serie A opponents with his close control and speed.
Iturbe would be the ideal candidate to help Conte transform his side from one match to the next—continuing to employ a 3-5-2 formation in domestic competition, while likely switching to a 4-3-3 formation in Europe.
The former River player has five goals and two assists in 20 starts for Andrea Mandorlini's side. His willingness to carry the ball forward and attack full-backs directly is a key part of his game this year.
This would enhance Juve's left side, giving them a dual threat with Kwadwo Asamoah's ever-improving performances.
The Ghanaian could continue his evolution into a left-sided player by offering Conte an option as an attacking left-back.
With Iturbe sixth in Serie A for most successful dribbles per game (2.7), according to WhoScored.com, opponents would likely struggle to cope with this left-sided combination.
Given that Verona have an option to buy the player from Porto for €15 million, according to Gazzetta dello Sport (via Football Italia), Juve could negotiate a fee in the region of €20 million to bring the 20-year-old immediately to Turin.
Fernando will in all probability be on the move this summer.
The Porto midfielder would have been available on a free transfer, but he agreed to a contract extension in February, according to O Jogo (via Sambafoot).
This does not mean he will not leave. Rather, it simply means Porto will now receive some sort of fee for the player, as opposed to losing him for nothing.
Juve should strongly consider a move for the 26-year-old, especially if Paul Pogba or Arturo Vidal are tempted by big-money moves abroad this summer.
Fernando is tall and rangy. His physicality, even if Pogba and Vidal were to stay, could enhance that already formidable Juve midfield.
Yes, the Bianconeri's midfielders are technically impressive, but perhaps lack the kind of attitude to go to battle when the game turns scrappy. Fernando would give any combination of the midfielders at Conte's disposal a great platform to shine on.
Domenico Berardi, Sassuolo
Domenico Berardi has been the revelation of this year's Serie A season, shining for relegation candidates Sassuolo, and giving the Neroverdi hope with some spectacular performances.
Along with Iturbe, the 19-year-old's versatility and athleticism would provide a wonderful threat from a wide area, flanking a centre-forward in a 4-3-3.
His quick feet and bursts of pace make him a real threat when receiving the ball in and around the penalty area.
What's more, his ever-improving finishing gives him the advantage of being able to fit into both the 3-5-2 and 4-3-3 systems, which should be swapped and changed with greater regularity next season.
The doubt will be whether he can receive enough game time at a club of Juve's stature. If Conte diversifies his tactics even more, that should not be an issue.
Given that the Old Lady co-own the player with the Serie A newcomers, we can expect a deal to be uncomplicated.
His talent is so high and there have been several incredible glimpses already of what he can offer. It seems to me that Berardi can be an asset for Juve as soon as next season.