Juventus and AC Milan are looking to strengthen their respective defensive departments in the January transfer window and are tracking a number of options.
Massimiliano Allegri has to deal with a lot of injuries in his squad and it is the defense which is mostly worrying him. Andrea Barzagli has not featured this season after his toe surgery and is not expected to make a comeback before the New Year. Martin Caceres suffered a thigh injury against Roma in the league game back in October and is likely to return after the international break. Angelo Ogbonna deputized admirably in an un-fancied right side of a back three but he also picked up an injury against Empoli last Saturday.
Allegri was reportedly thinking before the start of the season to use Luca Marrone in defence but unfortunately he has not recovered from incessant muscle injuries. With the Bianconeri one injury or suspension away from a crisis, Juventus are actively looking for short-term solutions this January.
According to Sky Italia, Juventus are exploring the option of Vlad Chiriches and are trying to find out whether Totenham Hotspurs are open to a loan deal in January. The Romanian is confident with the ball in his feet and can be a good fit for Allegri’s system. Swiss defender Fabian Schar is another possible option for Juventus. Schar himself admitted, “I need a team with important prospects. I’d like the Bundesliga, Premier League or top Italian clubs like Inter, Milan and Juventus. I couldn’t say no.” Hence it seems the move can materialize but the competition for his signature will be big and also the fact that both Schar and Chiriches are cup-tied in Europe makes them a luxury signing in January.
The most likely defender to join Juventus next month looks like Udinese defender Thomas Heurtaux. La Gazzetta Dello Sport reports that Juventus are closely monitoring the Frenchman and are ready to pay €6 million for his services. Heurtaux has made 10 appearances this season for Udinese and has put in impressive displays over the last few years.
AC Milan are looking for a solution to their problems in left back position after Colombian wingback Pablo Armero struggled to settle in that role. Armero’s agent claimed that the player wants to stay and fight for his place but he has played only 14 of the 900 minutes available in the league so far under Pippo Inzaghi.
“I think that he will stay at Milan in January,” Luciano Ramalho has told MilanNews.it.”He has signed a contract and he would like to respect it. I think Inzaghi maybe sees his more like an offensive midfielder than a full-back, but he’s the only one who can decide and Pablo certainly is waiting to grab his chance when given the opportunity.”
Milan’s sporting director for the youth sector Rocco Maiorino recently came back from a two week trip after scouting some players in Argentina. Milan’s new South American scout Sasa’ Monaco will be staying back for two months to study the options more carefully. Sky Italia understands that Leonel Vangioni is at the top of the list. The leftback was a target in the summer but ultimately Milan settled for Armero.
However with the Colombian failing to making any impact so far it seems the Argentine is once again favored for the left back position. Inzaghi has very little options to choose from as he clearly does not fancy Armero while the lack of competition in the squad seems to hinder De Sciglio’s progression. Vangioni is being seriously considered by Milan as a left back reinforcement. Vangioni already has three senior caps to his name and the Argentine international has made 13 appearances for River Plate so far this season, scoring one goal.