Like many of the top European clubs this summer, Juventus too are set for a massive squad overhaul, with even Morata likely to end up at Arsenal. Coach Max Allegri and director general Giuseppe Marotta have made absolutely no attempts to be modest about the Bianconeri’s ambitions this season. Let us have a look at who will stay and who will go in the attacking department of Juventus.
Having rejected a massive 90 million euro bid for Argentine starlet Paulo Dybala who has been the breakout star for Juventus this summer having brought on for an eyebrow raising 40 million euros from Palermo, Juve have firmly announced that they have no intentions of releasing their crown jewels.
With 19 goals and 9 assists, Paulo Dybala bested his fellow Argentine Carlos Tevez’s records at Juve in his debut season. Without a shadow of a doubt, Dybala will be the centre-piece of Max Allegri’s plans for the attack next season. Touted to be the next big Argentine star, Dybala has no plans to leave the capital club at the moment having just announced his arrival on the grand stage.
Mario Mandzukic, also brought on last season from Atletico Madrid, has done considerably well when fit, beside his overachieving strike partner. The strong Croat is a perfect foil for Dybala’s skillful and eye-catching game as he is bestowed with the attributes that Dybala lack. His physical presence, heading ability and brute strength compliments Dybala’s elegant playmaking style.
The Potential Departures
Perhaps no team boasts of such diversity in attack as Juventus does. This is probably the reason why Juve’s top 3 strikers, despite playing in a two striker system, have shared 46 goals between themselves this season. Morata with 12 goals and 9 assists and Mandzukic with 15 goals and 5 assists have never failed in front of the goal line when needed most.
And who can forget Simone Zaza, who was Juve’s fourth choice throughout the season, with his winning goal against Sarri’s Napoli which had effectively decided the outcome of the season. The former Sassuolo man struck 25 yards from the goal to give Juve all 3 points. Zaza had repaid the club’s and his coach’s faith in him, who decided to reject an offer of 27 million euros in the summer from West Ham.
Unfortunately that and the 7 other goals he scored this season wasn’t seemingly enough to keep him at the club for one more season and reports from England suggest that he has been told by Juventus that he is free to leave for more game time in the summer (via Mirror). His former suitor West Ham has lined up with Southampton to fight for the 24 year old’s signature.
Southampton manager Ronald Koeman is believed to be not in favour of offering the Italian international Graziano Pelle a new contract over the summer and is seeking his replacement in Simone Zaza, according to Gazzetta dello Sport (via Football Italia). As a result, there is a possibility of a potential swap deal taking place between Juventus and Southampton.
However, this speculation has little basis as Juventus have been linked with several strikers in the past couple of months. Taking into account their ambitions Pelle would be fifth choice in Turin, if he were to make the switch, which would mean that 19 year old Andrea Favalli would go out on a loan.
The Golden Boy Situation
The future of Alvaro Morata is what worries every Juve fan at the moment, with his former club Real Madrid believed to be all set to exercise their buy-out option in the summer only to sell him at an even bigger price to a potential suitor, perhaps Arsenal. Morata has a great relationship with the fans and he is the stuff of many a fanlore on the streets of Turin.
It is widely believed in the Italian media that Morata has a say in the matter of his transfer, as it only lies with him whether he wants to thwart Real’s advances and stay in Turin or not. Morata, after having a troublesome start to the season, went on to play a decisive role in Juve’s campaign.
Like it has been said before, Morata, Mandzukic and Dybala form a very integral part of Allegri’s system of squad rotation, utilizing each player for their strengths whenever necessary.
The Possible Replacements
With Zaza set to leave and the imminent departure of Turin’s golden boy Alvaro Morata also on the horizon, Juve understandably have approached a number of strikers. Cavani’s agent made clear a few days ago that his client will not be leaving Paris, despite speculations linking him to Juventus along with a host of other clubs (via Evening Standard). With Ibrahimovic’s departure, it became clear that PSG will not be parting with anymore of its striking assets.
There is no news whether Morata’s countryman Llorente would make an eventual return from Sevilla or not. The 31 year old will perhaps terminate his contract with Juventus to stay in Spain. Marseille striker Michy Batshuayi is another name that has been linked with Juventus after the player had claimed that his future lies elsewehere (via Calciomercato). The 22 year old Belgian has been linked with Arsenal and West Ham in recent months.
Another Belgian Romelu Lukaku remains a strong favourite to replace Morata in Turin, as his agent Mino Raiola confessed a couple of months ago that he has held talks with Juventus but nothing concrete has come out of it since Juventus were rebuffed by his price tag and high wages.
At the moment, the most plausible (and perhaps the most welcome) alternative for Morata is Sassuolo’s Domenico Berardi. Juventus have the first refusal option on the player that came from their youth ranks and is the most viable and likely replacement for Morata (via DiMarzio). It looks like Juventus will spend 25 million euros to buy Berardi back from Sassuolo over the summer. The fourth striker however remains a mystery as Juventus will go for someone more economically viable than spend big, considering the investments to be made in midfield.