With only two days separating us from the Grand Finale, tensions couldn’t have been any higher, especially in Turin and Milano. Napoli, Milan and Juventus are still fighting for the last two remaining Champions League spots, but the southerners only need to beat Hellas Verona to secure their qualification.
On the other hand, the Bianconeri must win at Bologna, and hope that the Rossoneri slip up against Atalanta. Thus, the real battle for the last spot is technically between the two Northern giants.
Whilst the outcome of Round 38 will be crucial for everyone involved, here are five Serie A players whose future could well depend on Sunday’s results.
Gianluigi Donnarumma (Milan)
The goalkeeper is youth product of the Diavolo, and currently acts as captain with Alessio Romagnoli being relegated to the bench.
Nevertheless, the 22-year-old is yet to play a single match in the Champions League, and is losing patience.
The Italian shot-stopper happens to be a transfer target for Juventus as his contract with Milan is about to expire, and whilst money could play a large part in swaying him in one way or another, one must believe that whichever side secures a Top four spot, will have a major advantage in the race for his signature.
Hakan Calhanoglu (Milan)
Similarly to Donnarumma, the Turkish midfielder is on his final weeks of his Milan contract.
Some reports have been linking him with a lucrative move towards Qatar, but if the Rossoneri manage to qualify for Europe’s most prestigious club competition, perhaps it would convince the former Bayer Leverkusen man to delay his big-money move in favor of a playing against the old continent’s elite.
But we wouldn’t bet our house on it.
Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus)
A cloud of uncertainty has been looming over the Portuguese’s future for a while now.
Even though his mammoth contract with the Old Lady still runs for another year, he surely wouldn’t be happy to miss out on playing in his favorite competition.
Nonetheless, if Juventus manage to beat out Milan for a Champions League spot, then another year in Turin wouldn’t sound like a terrible idea for the legendary striker.
Alvaro Morata (Juventus)
Here’s another Bianconeri forward who could end up leaving the club if Andrea Pirlo’s men miss out on Champions League football – albeit for completely different reason.
Although the Spaniard loves Juventus and has always stated his intentions to remain at the club, the lack of funds in the absence of CL football would make it very difficult for the management to maintain his services.
The former Chelsea man is currently on loan from Atletico Madrid, and Juve could either purchase his contract for 45 million euros, or renew his loan stint for another season by paying 10 millions – both of which are considered to be hefty figures amidst the current financial difficulties.
Rodrigo De Paul (Udinese)
Despite the fact that the Argentine plays for a mid-table side, he’ll keep a close eye on the battle between the big boys.
The playmaker has been linked with several top European sides – including Juventus and Milan – and whoever misses out on Champions League football will probably find it hard to the lure the Zebrette star who’s definitely not short of suitors.