Juventus are reportedly considering a move for Valencia full-back Jose Gaya amid rumours Alex Sandro is keen to leave the club.
It's been reported by Matt Law of the Daily Telegraph that Chelsea have been handed a boost in their pursuit of Sandro, as the Brazilian wants out of the Italian champions. He's said to be valued at around £50 million by the Bianconeri.
Valencia are said to be unwilling to let the Spanish youth international move on, although Juventus may test their resolve with a big offer.
Since arriving at Juventus, Sandro has become one of the best left-backs in world football and has been key to their dominance in Serie A, as well as their run to the UEFA Champions League final last term.
As WhoScored.com noted in the summer, he doesn't have many weaknesses in his game:
Alex Sandro: Statistically calculated WhoScored strengths, weaknesses and style of play https://t.co/qinr3kfIRm2017-7-26 11:30:01
At his best, the former Porto man can offer a one-man left-hand side, as he's a skilled player and a dynamic athlete.
However, following on from a summer of incessant links to Chelsea, Sandro has found it tough to reach the same levels he did last term. Indeed, when Juventus took on Napoli in a crucial contest at the top of Serie A recently, Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri left the left-back out.
The Brazilian did return to the team in midweek against Olympiakos in the Champions League, and as noted by Italian football journalist Adam Digby, he was able to produce a rare good performance:
Adam Digby @Adz77
0-1. Juan Cuadrado scores thanks to Alex Sandro actually remembering how to cross. It’s been a while! #OLYJuve2017-12-5 20:06:29
Nevertheless, if Sandro was to move on, then he'd leave a big hole on the left flank—especially with the injury-prone Kwadwo Asamoah currently the primary backup.
Gaya would be a fascinating alternative for the Bianconeri. The Valencia youngster has always been considered as someone with plenty of potential, although he's been unable to kick on prior to the current campaign.
In 2017-18, however, he's found new levels under manager Marcelino, with Los Che mounting a surprise title challenge in La Liga. Gaya, who raids forward frequently from his full-back berth, has provided a speedy outlet on the left flank.
As noted by Scouted Football, while he's blisteringly quick in his forays up the line, there's also a consideration to Gaya's play:
Scouted Football @ScoutedFtbl
Jose Gayà (22) sets up Rodrigo Moreno - Valencia lead Barça! Times his run really well - Guedes (20) slips him in - and importantly, gets his head up once in behind. This Valencia side, under Marcelino, is very satisfying to watch. 🦇 https://t.co/JPZKy87PGt2017-11-26 21:10:13
He's different to Sandro, although the Spaniard, like the Brazilian, is capable of occupying a flank, such is his pace and energy. At 22, Gaya is still in the relative infancy of his career, and Juventus would hope to see the player flourish in Turin.
There'd surely be some hesitancy on the part of the youngster to make the move. Not only does he have a manager that's getting the best from him, there's an emotional affinity with the Mestalla outfit, having emerged from the club's youth setup and taken his spot in the first team.
Plus, Valencia appear to be headed in an exciting direction. He may want to be a part of that.