In less than a month, the Serie A is set to welcome it’s doors open for action once again. June 20 is the set-down date and the days prior to that make an anxious wait for calcio fans all over the globe.
There might have been no action on the pitch for the last two months but a lot has gone down regardless. So let’s take a behind-the-scenes look at the top Serie A sides and their major activities while football was forced to come to a stop. We’ll be going with teams according to the current league table and we’ll have a brief pulse check on notable events over the past few weeks that could yet shape their future.
There might have been no activity for a while but that never stopped Juventus from being busy. Ideally, this period should have marked the start of the summer window proper and it’s only normal that that has been the order of the day recently.
Maurizio Sarri’s Bianconeri are always looking to strengthen their side and the focus now looks to be a stronger midfield line. In terms of additions, the Turin-based club have been closely linked to Chelsea’s Jorginho and are still intent on the midfielder as per what the reports say. Defender Emerson Palmieri is also said to be a name on the transfer table.
A meeting between Chelsea & Juventus is expected. The names are Palmieri and Jorginho.— Bianconeri Zone (@BianconeriZone) May 29, 2020
If the Sarri-Jorginho reunion is not enough, Juventus are also interested in another Chelsea player in Willian. The 31-year-old is set to be a free agent in the summer and looks likely to be on his way out of Stamford Bridge. Although the winger prefers a stay in London, Juventus are still well-positioned to sign him up if he does consider a new adventure somewhere else.
As at the time of writing, Juventus are willing to go all out for Jorginho and could even offer up three fringe players as part of a potential deal to tempt Chelsea to sell.
Juventus have offered Chelsea the pick of three other players as part of their attempts to sign Jorginho, according to SPORT.— Simon Phillips (@SiPhillipsSport) May 30, 2020
Douglas Costa, Federico Bernardeschi, or Adrien Rabiot, allegedly. pic.twitter.com/U9Fu69fwqQ
Elsewhere, there have also been rumors Miralem Pjanic could be used in a swap-deal to sign Arthur Melo from Barcelona. However, the latter’s comments indicate he is rather likely to remain at the Camp Nou than anything.
Lastly, Dejan Kulusevski is set to officially become a Juventus player next month and has already been tipped to fit in properly and make a major impact for the Bianconeri colors.
Asides their incredible quest for the title, the Biancocelesti could be seeing a lot of activity off the pitch as well.
Over the past few weeks, Lazio have emerged as one of the top names interested in signing Borussia Dortmund’s Mario Goetze. The 27-year-old will be leaving the club for free this summer and is well on Lazio’s summer wishlist.
There might be nothing to it but Joaquin Correa recently sparked transfer rumors when he recently mentioned he fancies the Premier League and could consider a move in the nearest “future.”
The biggest story surrounding Lazio, however, could be the future of Sergej Milinković-Savić. President Claudio Lotito has always stressed the midfielder will only leave for “big” money but the pandemic could yet change the swing of things.
The most recent story, according to Le10Sport, is that Lotito has lowered his demands for Milinković-Savić from €100M to approximately €70M. Paris Saint Germain have well been interested in the midfielder and are now happy to push for a potential transfer.
Off from players, head coach Simone Inzaghi could be rewarded for his brilliant achievements by getting a new and improved contract extension.
It’s no exaggeration to say that the Nerazzurri could yield one of the most talked-about transfers in the next window. Asides that, Inter could be one of the busiest sides in Europe too.
In the Barcelona mainstay, the one big name that has circled around the club over the past months is a certain Lautaro Martinez.
You name it, club legends have spoken, head coach Quique Setién has commented, current players have talked him up and even Barcelona captain Lionel Messi has reportedly placed a call to his compatriot to join him in Spain.
At one point, the Catalan side were ready to offer up to eight players plus cash to secure the services of Lautaro.
The latest rumor circulating now is that Barcelona will offer €80M cash plus Junior Firpo in a potential deal but Inter are still holding firm to their €111M valuation as detailed in the 22-year-old’s release clause.
#Barça want to close #LautaroMartinez and are preparing a new bid (€80M + #Firpo): #Inter officially ask the payment of clause (€111M). #Barcelona hope for a discount and have reached an agreeement with El Toro’s agents for a wages of €12M + bonuses a year. #transfers #FCB— Nicolò Schira (@NicoSchira) May 29, 2020
Although going by the comments of Inter director Piero Ausilio, it could well be a race against time for Barcelona, if they are to get him at all.
“He is an important asset for the club, there is a €111 million clause he could leave for but it is very tough,” Ausilio said to Sky Italia.
“It has very specific deadlines and is only valid until July 7th (…) Inter do not need to sell, nor do we want to sell our best players (…) We imagine Lautaro at Inter and he still has a three-year contract with us.”
Inter also chased RB Leipzig’s Timo Werner but saw any potential move for the forward ruled out. An attacking name seems to be high on Antonio Conte’s priority list and the duo of Paris Saint Germain’s Edinson Cavani and Arsenal’s Alexandre Lacazette are other names that have recently popped up in the Nerazzurri camp.
In terms of outgoing, Inter have just agreed to a permanent deal with PSG over the sale of Mauro Icardi. The reported fee is €50M plus €7M in add-ons, which is significantly lesser than the €70M agreed in his buy-out option.
As per Goal, Inter also inserted an “anti-Juventus” clause in their deal with PSG for Icardi, with the French club subjected to a £13M fee if they sell him to the Old Lady. A move done to protect their bitter rivals from snapping him up in the nearest future.
Elsewhere, the future of Manchester United loanee Alexis Sanchez is still up in the air and Ausilio has refused to rule out a permanent move for the Chilean.
Another big story that could develop in due time is that regarding the future of Brescia’s Sandro Tonali. Should his side get relegated, the club could be forced to sell the midfielder and Inter have been named as one of the leading sides in the race for his signature.
The latest news surrounding the Orobici is regarding the future of Mario Pasalic. The 25-year-old has been on loan at Chelsea for the past two seasons but could finally be staying in Serie A on a permanent basis.
Atalanta have been trying to agree on a deal with Chelsea to sign the midfielder permanently and look to have gotten their breakthrough.
The latest report from Sport Witness claims that Atalanta have agreed on a €15M deal with the Blues that will see him signed on a permanent basis.
The 25-year-old midfielder has played a key role in the Bergamo-based outfit over the past year and looks to be a good value for that amount.
Jeremie Boga is another name that has been linked to Atalanta over the past few weeks. The 23-year-old has impressed since joining Sassuolo and has attracted interest from a host of European sides. Chelsea have a buy-back clause on the winger and if the Blues fail to activate that option, either Atalanta or Napoli have been named his two most likely destinations.
In terms of out-goings, Robin Gosens is one of the names that could yet leave the club in the coming transfer window. The likes of Chelsea, Sevilla, Leicester City, and a host of other sides have shown interest in the 25-year-old.
As per latest reports, Atalanta have slammed a €25M price tag on the midfielder and will only let him go if that valuation is met. It might end up being good business considering that they snapped him up from Heracles Almelo for just €2M.
In some sad news off the pitch, the Serie A and the football world were dealt a big blow when 19-year-old Andrea Rinaldi, a product of Atalanta youth academy, passed away in sad circumstances due to brain aneurysm. We send out our condolences to his family and friends in this tough period.
For Roma, it’s a case of “what we have, we hold” as they look to make loan deals permanent for Chris Smalling and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, two key players in their top 4 chase.
Both players might not be viewed as important in their respective parent clubs so a good deal might be struck for both once the window opens.
With those deals in the pipeline, there is a concern for some of their younger players as Riccardo Calafiori, Nicolo Zaniolo, and Lorenzo Pellegrini are faced with uncertain futures amid transfer speculation of interest from bigger clubs elsewhere.
It will be hard to keep these young stars at the club but Champions league football and perhaps improved contracts could yet solve those uncertainties.
There hardly isn’t a time that Napoli’s star players have not attracted interest from clubs around Europe and now is no different.
The obvious candidate is defender Kalidou Koulibaly who has been linked to just about every top club in Europe. Once again, he is said to be edging closer to a move to, you guessed it, every top club in Europe.
Jokes aside, there is a strong belief that the Senegalese international will most likely make a move to the Premier League with Manchester City showing strong interest in his services amid their defensive struggles this term.
Manchester City are interested in Kalidou Koulibaly (29) and are willing to 'pay a pretty penny' for the central defender – with Napoli willing to do business.— Man City Report (@cityreport_) May 29, 2020
[@TransferPodcast | @DuncanCastles] pic.twitter.com/RUanGkvcNv
Liverpool are also interested but there is less noise being made around the situation as their eyes may be elsewhere.
Fabian Ruiz is another name. The 24-year-old international playmaker from Spain has attracted interest mainly from his home country with Barcelona and Real Madrid showing a strong interest in acquiring him.
There is reportedly also a contract extension on the table for Ruiz that will keep him at the club till 2025.
In order to keep these players, you get the feeling that maintaining a Champions League spot is imperative. That is a goal which, with 11 games remaining and 9 points behind fourth-placed Atalanta, might be something of a herculean task at the moment.
For the Rossoneri, there’s been more off the pitch related activity than on it.
Milan are still looking for the right formula to success and in the latest installment of this, former RB Leipzig coach Ralf Rangnick has been touted to become the next man for the job at the end of the season.
There have been several other rumors linked to his arrival, including a potential €75M transfer budget for when he becomes manager and players like Florentino Luis, Eduardo Quaresma, and Martin Odegaard as potential targets.
Another huge development behind the scenes in Milan is the potential announcement of new partnerships with the club as executive Ivan Gazidis looks at improving the image and the brand of the club off the pitch.
Since the names and the number of sponsors are unknown, it remains to be seen if the pandemic has caused a delay in the completion of those deals but announcements are expected to be made in the coming weeks.
However, there is interest in Burnley Midfielder Jeff Hendrick who according to Sky Sports is worth £10M.
AC Milan have shown an interest in signing Burnley midfielder Jeff Hendrick on a free transfer.— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) May 30, 2020
Elsewhere, West Ham have shown interest in signing 20-year-old youth club product Marco Brescianini with the Hammers making an initial inquiry on him.