The January transfer window is fast approaching, and three of the biggest clubs in Italy, Spain and England could be set for a transfer merry-go-round involving two veteran defenders
Barcelona are still reeling from the loss of Brazilian right-back Dani Alves. The 33-year-old joined Juventus this past summer. Barca thought they had a natural replacement in former Sevilla right-back Aleix Vidal, but he hasn’t broken into the first team and could be on the way out of the club soon.
The Blaugrana have made Valencia full-back Joao Cancelo their prime target. However, Los Che will not be listening to any offers until next summer, forcing Barcelona to look at signing some short-term defensive cover.
Recent reports from Spain claimed that they were targeting three veteran right-backs in Stephan Lichsteiner, Branislav Ivanovic and Darijo Srna.
Juventus have been put on alert by Barca’s interest in their right wing-back Lichsteiner. I Bianconeri are now preparing to make a move for Chelsea right-back Branislav Ivanovic if Barcelona snap up the Swiss defender, according to the Sun.
The report claims that the Italian champions want to sign Ivanovic on a free transfer, and are ready to offer £41,000 a week in wages. The Serbian is currently earning £65,000 a week at Stamford Bridge, but his current contract is set to expire next summer.
Branislav Ivanovic has won it all in his decade long career as a Chelsea player, including the Premier League and the Champions League. However, the right-back’s influence on the Chelsea team has been waning in the past couple of seasons.
The 32-year-old was a first-choice defender at the beginning of the season. However, back-to-back defeats to Liverpool and Arsenal provoked manager Antonio Conte to drop the Serbian and implement a tactical system that he employed to great success with Juventus and the Italian national team.
The three-man defensive system has since proven to be a huge success, as the Blues have romped to six straight wins without conceding a single goal. As things stand, Ivanovic is unlikely to break into the Blues first team again.
Juventus have made a reputation of getting the best out of players who were believed to be past their prime. They did it with the likes of Andrea Pirlo and Patrice Evra, and could also get the best out of Ivanovic.