Daniele Rugani's Agent Says Offers Will Be 'Listened To' Amid Chelsea RumoursJuly 17, 2018
The agent of Juventus centre-back Daniele Rugani has commented on rumours linking his client with a move to Chelsea and boosted the Blues by confirming offers for the player "will be listened to."
Davide Torchia said Juventus want to keep hold of Rugani, and the feeling is mutual, though he went on to say he'll monitor any offers "because there's respect in football," per Tashan Deniran-Alleyne of Football.London:
"Rugani to Chelsea? I'm happy for Sarri because no one thought he could get there and now here he is coaching Chelsea. It's a great victory for everyone, even for Napoli it was crucial. Then, given how highly he rates Rugani, everyone thinks he can follow him to Chelsea.
"However, it must be remembered that Juventus also didn't accept any negotiations in the past, neither with Napoli nor with any other team, and they've always shown willingness to keep the player. That will hasn't changed.
"Rugani himself hasn't expressed willingness to go elsewhere, but it must also be said that if there's an offer, it'll be listened to because there's respect in football."
Torchia's update came after Corriere dello Sport journalist Alfredo Pedulla said a £45 million transfer was already in the works and a meeting between player and club set for Tuesday and Wednesday:
Rugani, 23, joined Juventus on permanent terms from Empoli in 2013 and was highly touted as a future star for Italy after featuring in nearly every tier of the Azzurri's youth setup from under-17.
Some might have expected Rugani would have had more of a first-team impact in Turin as he approaches his fourth senior season with the Bianconeri, leading to Chelsea's apparent belief they can tempt him to England.
Sky Sport reporter Angelo Mangiante recently gave a rundown of new Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri's top priorities this summer, with one of their high-profile targets already captured following Jorginho's move from Napoli:
The Telegraph's Matt Law hailed Sarri's intervention in leading Jorginho to spurn Manchester City for a move to Stamford Bridge, a factor that could come to play its hand in luring Rugani, too:
The central defender made 22 Serie A appearances last season as he fought against a raft of top competition, including Giorgio Chiellini, 33, Andrea Barzagli, 37, and Medhi Benatia, 31. Given the ages of those players, Juve are sure to have one eye on the future, however, meaning Rugani could be a valued asset.
Mattia Caldara, 24, recently finally joined the club after an 18-month loan spell at Atalanta, and he gives the Bianconeri one more youthful option in the middle of their defence.
Just as predecessor Antonio Conte did at Chelsea, Sarri has looked to his native Italy for reinforcements early on. Rugani could join fellow Serie A exports Antonio Rudiger (AS Roma), Marcos Alonso (Fiorentina) and Davide Zappacosta (Torino) in the Blues defence.
The competition at Chelsea is tough, too, with Cesar Azpilicueta, David Luiz, Gary Cahill, Andreas Christensen, Ethan Ampadu and Kurt Zouma all potentially fighting for their spot in central defence. Nonetheless, Rugani may fancy his chances more fighting that bunch for a place than he does in Turin.