Juventus have been linked with a sensational move for Gonzalo Higuain. The Argentine had a record-breaking last season with Napoli though Maurizio Sarri’s men were unable to stop Juventus from lifting a fifth straight Scudetti. Now, reports in Italy have emerged that Juventus have agreed personal terms with “Pipita” and will now approach Napoli hierarchy for a transfer fee. Though President Aurelio De Laurentiis has been steadfast in his refusal to sell the star striker, Juventus are confident that a player plus cash will be enough to change his mind. Danielle Rugani or Robert Pereyra are believed to be the player involved as a makeweight for the pursuit of Higuain. The Turin club face serious competition though. Arsenal have been to be in the race for Higuain. The Gunners have offered Olivier Giroud plus €50 million and some sources have predicted that Arsene Wenger may finally get a marquee signing for 2016.
Mehdi Benatia has been confirmed as Juventus player. The Bayern Munich has arrived on a loan deal to Turin with a view to make it permanent the next season if Juve decide to do so. The fee next year would likely be around €20 million. Having arrived from Roma in 2014, Benatia has the advantage of playing in Serie A before and hence will be looking to displace Barzagli, Bonucci or Chiellini in the defence.
Apart from Benatia, Dani Alves and Miralem Pjanic have been other arrivals from Barcelona and AS Roma respectively. Pjanic has decided to take up the Number 5 shirt made famous by Zinedine Zidane.
The high profile exit so far has been Alvaro Morata. The Spaniard was recalled by Real Madrid after impressing in his two years at Turin and is expected to provide competition to Karim Benzema for the striker’s role. Earlier it was believed that the Los Blancos had decided to activate the buy back clause of the striker to sell him on for a bigger profit. Arsenal and Chelsea were the two parties heavily linked with his signature. Chelsea had even been rumoured to have launched an offer to Madrid which was swiftly refuted. Following the talks with Zidane, Morata has decided to stay put and fight for his place.
The other big name exit being constantly rumoured is Paul Pogba. The midfielder’s future has been a source of constant speculation and Manchester United are the only rumoured party in the fray with Real Madrid seemed to have baulked at his €120 million valuation. Ed Woodward was even rumoured to have flown down and held talks with the Madrid hierarchy over a move but the outcome was not positive. Pogba’s agent, Mino Raiola had earlier said that his client might end up staying with the Serie A Champions by signing a contract extension and reports are now emerging that Beppe Marotta will sit down with Raiola to commence contract talks. The new deal will see Pogba’s wage rise to €7 to €8 million per year from the current €4.5 million per year.
The other name linked to the exit door is Roberto Pereyra. The midfielder had moved from Udinese in 2014 but hasn’t been given the chance to make the desired impact that was hoped for him. The arrival of Miralem Pjanic from AS Roma has only served to heighten the uncertainty with the midfielder most likely out of Juventus in a bid to continue his career elsewhere. His agent has confirmed in an interview to an Italian radio station that his departure is imminent with a move to Napoli as his next destination.
Striker Simone Zaza is also rumoured to follow the midfielder towards the exit door with the Italian linked with a move to the Bundesliga side Wolfsburg. The sporting director of the German side had remarked that he would be interested in a move to Zaza following their failure to land Vincent Janssen from AZ Alkmaar. The 25 year old striker would prefer a move to side where he is likely to get more game time and spotlight following playing the role of fourth choice striker behind Mario Mandzukic, Paulo Dybala and Alvaro Morata last season.