Dating back to the summer transfer window, Arturo Vidal’s name has been mentioned more than most in transfer speculation columns. Juventus refused to sell the Chilean midfielder in the summer, but may follow a different line of thinking during the January transfer window. Claudio Marchisio’s re-emergence as well as the fact that the Chilean was involved in a nightclub brawl could lead the Bianconeri to sell.
Should the team offload the midfielder, the question becomes, where would the funds be reinvested? What areas of the team would they look to reinforce with their newly found cash?
The logical bet is in midfield. Marco Verratti has been linked to the Old Lady in the past and would be a logical acquisition as Andrea Pirlo’s long-term successor – a role the PSG midfielder already plays with the Italian national team. Juan Mata has also been rumored to be moving to Turin.
Either addition would improve the midfield, with Verratti like to play in a similar role to Pirlo and Mata filling a more advanced position. The only issue with Mata is that he doesn’t really fit into the 3-5-2 formation Juve have been using.
Coach Max Allegri won’t switch his formation to fit one player. It’s worth noting that the 3-5-2 has not only been effective for Juve in the past, but it has also held up this year by dominating domestically and displaying better showings in Europe.
Another potential area where the cash could be funnelled is goalkeeper. Gianluigi Buffon remains one of the world’s best, even at 36 years young. It seems like he’ll keep playing until he’s 45, but he’ll need a long-term replacement eventually. Juve already have young shot-stopper Nicolas Leali farmed out on loan, but a move for one of Italy’s two other highly-coveted goalkeepers would make sense. Signing either Simone Scuffet or Mattia Perin and loaning the player back to their original club until Buffon is finished playing would be beneficial for all parties. Neither will be cheap given their tremendous potential, so Juve could splash some of the cash on a keeper.
It may seem strange to see a Champions League contending team spend extra money on a goalkeeper for the future, but Juve doesn’t have many glaring needs outside of a potential Vidal replacement. Even with Andrea Barzagli’s injury troubles, the team is well stocked at the back. Martin Caceres and Angelo Ogbonna provide more than capable backups while Luca Marrone also has experience at center-back. Long-term, the team may not want to block the path of their exciting center back prospects with a flashy signing. Youngsters Alberto Masi and Carlos Blanco both have high ceilings, and while they may be a few years from contributing to the first team, they remain the future of the Bianconeri’ back line. In addition, there are few center backs who would replace a healthy Barzagli, who has a few years left in him, in Juve’s back three. That number shrinks to zero if you consider if the players are available and affordable to the Italian giants via transfer.