Empoli Eye Juventus Defender to Replace Outbound Prodigy

Empoli are on the brink of selling Mattia Viti to Nice, and they have inquired with Juventus about Daniele Rugani to substitute him. The Bianconeri are open to loaning him out, as they did two years ago when they shipped him to Rennes.

According to Alfredo Pedullà, the two clubs need to agree on how to split his €3M wages. He has two years on his contract. While the Bianconeri aren’t necessarily shopping him, they wouldn’t mind partying ways with him to onboard a different center-back. Verona are after him too. If he left, the Bianconeri would pursue Nikola Milenkovic, who is still in limbo.

If Empoli did strike a deal, it would be a return for Rugani. The Lucca-born center-back grew up in their youth system and was originally acquired by Juventus in 2012. He then spent his first two seasons among the pros at the Tuscan side, collecting 81 appearances.

Milenkovic suspiciously didn’t play in yesterday’s friendly against Galatasaray. His gentleman’s agreement with Fiorentina, which would allow him to leave if a top club offered at least €15M, remains valid, the journalist adds. Inter are unlikely to target him if Milan Skriniar stays.

Our Take on Empoli, Rugani and Milenkovic

It’d be a step down for the defender, but he is familiar with the team, and it’s one of the few that would give him a starring role. Still, the Old Lady would have to accept to keep paying at least half of his wages. On the other hand, the opportunity to sign a better option for a low fee could be worth it. Leonardo Bonucci isn’t getting any younger. As for Viti, he wasn’t cheap, but it’s a blown opportunity for Serie A sides.

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