Juventus will head into the upcoming international break on a positive note following a home win against Cagliari on Saturday, even without Paul Pogba.

As they aim to return to European competition, the Turin side are in the thick of the Scudetto race.

As a result of violations of UEFA’s financial fair play regulations, they were expelled from the Europa Conference League.

They have used it as a springboard to more success on the field this year. The Bianconeri kept six consecutive clean sheets since their loss to Sassuolo.

This has allowed them to move up to second position, only two points behind champions Inter, heading into this weekend.

It was the first time all season that Massimiliano Allegri’s side conceded from a set piece, and it happened against Cagliari.

It ended a 615-minute streak of clean sheets. With their arch-rivals Inter playing Frosinone on Sunday, Juventus will remain in first place.

In the meantime, AC Milan squandered a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 with Lecce on the road. Once the international break is over, Inter and Juventus will face off in the Derby d’Italia.

Juventus have midfield emergency with Pogba absence

For the first time since the 2019-20 season, Juventus are showing signs of being serious contenders in Serie A. As such, they are an increasingly attractive destination for top players in Europe. Especially those who are presently unhappy at their clubs.

The pursuit of a new central midfielder is an open secret within the Turin club. They find themselves in need following season-ending suspensions for both Paul Pogba and Nicolo Fagioli.

The betting incident that led to Fagioli’s seven-month suspension means he will miss the rest of the season. However, after negotiations with the representatives of the Italian midfielder, the Old Lady have agreed to a contract extension.

Several media publications have speculated that Juve would go shopping for reinforcements in the January transfer window. Anyone new to the squad, however, must be prepared to contribute right away.

Kalvin Phillips has barely featured for Manchester City since joining the club
Kalvin Phillips has barely featured for Manchester City since joining the club

Kalvin Phillips has barely featured for Manchester City since joining the club

De Paul and Phillips on January radar

Since then, rumors have circulated that Juventus have reached out to two star players.

First, Rodrigo De Paul, the Argentina and Atletico Madrid midfielder who played for Udinese from 2016 to 2021. He is appealing because of his familiarity with the Serie A.

According to the Turin-based newspaper Tuttosport, the Bianconeri called the player’s agent in order to set up a meeting for next month.

The teams will negotiate a possible loan deal with an expensive obligation clause. This would only become active if Juventus qualify for the Champions League.

However, De Paul’s annual salary of $7 million must be vastly lowered for a Juventus move to go through. There are still several players on the market for Juventus to analyze. One such name is Kalvin Phillips, who has barely featured for Pep Guardiola at Manchester City.

Apparently, the Englishman is willing to go to Italy on a six-month loan, as reported by La Gazzetta dello Sport. The English champions would ideally prefer to loan out the Englishman.

However, Juve still hope that City would contribute to Phillips’ wage in order to complete the transfer to Turin. For the former Leeds midfielder to join Allegri’s squad, the club would have to fork out $2.7 million for six months of his $5.3 million salary.

Photo credits: IMAGO / Marco Canoniero : IMAGO / Propaganda Photo