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Wednesday July 9 2014
Iturbe to usher new Juve dawn?

Juventus are favourites to sign Verona’s Juan Iturbe and Luca Cetta wonders how much influence his signing could have on the Bianconeri.

Dominant in Serie A last season, Juventus failed to translate that success in to Europe. The club realised this summer’s transfer window will be critical to their future and the market activity to date has recognised the need for evolution, rather than a full-blown revolution. Should he stay, the recently returned Luca Marrone adds depth – there’s loan interest from Verona and Palermo – while French youngster Kingsley Coman arrives with much potential.

But they are still seeking the jewel in the crown - an exciting talent capable of unlocking tight defences. That list has narrowed to three candidates – Alexis Sanchez, Alvaro Morata and Juan Iturbe. Sanchez offers the most experience and guarantees, but interest has cooled recently.

Sky Sport Italia reported late last week that Real Madrid’s Morata agreed in principle to join Juve, while news fresh out of Italy and Spain states the clubs have come to an agreement. And according to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Iturbe could call Turin home by the end of this week. Thanks to two swift summer sales – Mirko Vucinic and Federico Peluso – the Bianconeri may secure both players.

Milan, Roma and Atletico Madrid have been in the mix to acquire the Argentine, but Juventus are firm favourites. Having just signed Iturbe on a permanent basis from Porto, Verona are set to make a handsome profit – with reports of up to €28 million set to be handed over.

Described this week as a Formula 1 car by his boss Andrea Mandorlini, it’s easy to see why there is a fight for his services. The 21-year-old was one of the stars of Verona’s impressive top flight return, with his pace, vision and close control all admirable qualities in 33 appearances that yielded eight goals. It made for a good, but not extraordinary, debut campaign. It’s clear the Argentine is a raw talent – he showed the consistency of a player adapting and growing, that is to say it was lacking at times. What he certainly lacks is big-game experience – of the three he is the only one to not play in European competition.

In their Champions League clashes with Real Madrid last term Juve utilised a 4-3-3 formation and it’s thought Iturbe’s signature will allow that option to be used more frequently in the season ahead. He was fielded on the right of Verona’s trident last season and could conceivably complement a trident currently consisting of Carlos Tevez and Fernando Llorente. “I believe he is ideal for a trident attack,” Mandorlini claimed.

Such a system would offer Conte a viable alternative to the 3-5-2, says former teammate Angelo Di Livio. “Juventus are looking for an alternative to a formation that has allowed them to dominate the last championships in Italy, but has not been at its best in Europe,” he noted. “With Iturbe, Conte can think on the field of reintroducing his preferred formation, the 4-3-3. Certainly, it is risky to change a playing system that has been successful, but it seems pretty clear that in order to emerge in the Champions League, they have to come up with something different.”

Media speculation has Conte willing to make such a switch, but it’s not something he has discussed publically. Before the second meeting with Los Blanos last term, Conte felt player application was of greater importance than system. “Both the 4-3-3 and the 3-5-2 are formations that my players are familiar with. We’ll see, we could also change during the match. What matters is the performance.” Months earlier in pre-season training the response was, “We’ll play as we always have.” For Conte it’s about ball retention and proactive football, no matter the formation.

Some had hoped Domenico Berardi – a player who was just as good, if not better, than Iturbe last term – would make his way to Vinovo instead. He not only dazzled on the pitch, but given his co-ownership status would represent a far cheaper acquisition, allowing funds to go elsewhere. Staying in Reggio Emilia won’t preclude a Turin future for the Azzurrini attacker and at the same time says something about Iturbe’s promise.

There’s a risk in Juve shelling out such a fee for a player still growing. They are the first to say they can’t yet compete with Europe’s richest clubs. But as the Old Lady strives to improve on the continent, a summer market including Iturbe’s signature could add that edge she desires.

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Have your say...
What worries me is not the signings, but the cost. Iturbe plus Morata could cost about 46 million. How can Juve afford that much? Beppe Marrotta keeps saying we cant sign expensive players. So how can they afford this? I hope they arent going to pay for it by selling off Vidal, that's for sure, but I keep seeing these rumours about Man United.
on the 14th July, 2014 at 3:33pm
Now that De Marco and Bergonzi have retired they should focus their efforts on buying the new batch of referees
on the 14th July, 2014 at 2:54pm
Just think that Iturbe costs equivalent to Pirlp + Vidal + Pogba + Llorante + Tevez + Giovinco

is he worth it ? I am not really sure

but even morata with the buying back option from real madrid in his transfer agreement is not worth it
on the 12th July, 2014 at 6:06pm
I don't understand what Juve are doing in this transfer window. They've sold 20-30 million worth of players + Champions league revenue. They should just buy two top quality players and leave the squad as it is. Why buy Evra?! Ricardo Rodriguez of Switzerland is young, can play in a back 4 or 5 and would only cost around 15 million euros. How did they miss out on another top target AGAIN!? Sanchez would of been a great buy. I haven't seen much of Iturbe but I hope he's worth the money!
on the 12th July, 2014 at 11:30am
I do not know much about Iturbe but I do know if Morata is what they are banking on in Europe then they are not going to get anywhere. I think we need to be realistic and see that Serie A is no better than the Portuguese or French league so getting to quarter finals should be the aim of Italian clubs unless they get money from somewhere. Alex, Vidic, Evra, Cole are actually good for Italian football. It is the potential signing of Drogba or the really mediocre foreigners that worries me
on the 11th July, 2014 at 1:38pm
@AMB please be sure what you are talking about before posting. First off Evra and Cole are not mediocre as you will be hard pressed to find better left backs in Italy. Secondly England beat Germany 5-1 in 2001. They went on to the world cup final a year later albeit with their worst ever side. Played in 2004 Euros too so it was hardly right after suffering that defeat that they changed. On topic I just don't get y Juve are signing a supersub in Morata. Is he really better than younger Italians?
on the 11th July, 2014 at 1:31pm
I can understand buyin young and potential..all for it, but now we need to push on with one or 2 proven quality players..as was declared 3/4 years ago, first the squad and foundations then x2 star players a season, Sanchez to arsenal is jus another one gone, im sure with Vidal/isla having a word we could have got him but oh well we shall see what the future brings now...the young French talent we have got from psg excites me..but marota n iturbe we shall see..if we sell Vidal we are screwed
on the 11th July, 2014 at 8:58am
Evra and Cole's careers are winding down but I still see both of them as fine purchases to strengthen the defense. There is nothing wrong with these purchases in my opinion they will not be expected to explode with new potential but to provide experience their respective roles, knowing their limits. You can't expect to have a young team full of potential with no experience players.
on the 10th July, 2014 at 9:31pm
The 4-3-3 worked well last year in both games against Real Madrid, until Chiellini got sent off by the idiot Ronaldo in the 46th minute. Marchisio was the extra attacker and we worried Real. I prefer that we are getting these young players that Conte has asked for, and I hope he gently brings them into the squad like he did with Pogba and Llorente. They are expensive, but a risk worth taking. Not to sure about Evra, but that might be a stop gap for a season or two, but I hope he proves me wrong.
on the 10th July, 2014 at 8:57pm
Im a Roma fan, but I think Morata and Iturbe would be outstanding signings for Juve. The prices may seem high, but this is the cost of signing top level youngsters in this new age of football. I also believe Conte will be able to get the absolute best out of both players and keep their value rising. There is no reason these guys with potential wont thrive under Conte. Iturbe has great speed and actually reminds me of a young Sanchez at Udinese.
on the 10th July, 2014 at 7:19pm
Apparently Niang's been given a week to prove himself. So seemingly even though he has good relationship with SES and Balo, helped Milan finish third in 12/23 season and scored 4/13 at Montpellier all before the age of 20 and he still has to prove himself. How about we just don't sign another attacker and give him a proper chance? If Aquilani was re-signed then we can also say goodbye to Cristante. Please can we cancel the transfer window?
on the 10th July, 2014 at 2:42pm
I just cannot understand why clubs are investing in mediocre foreign players.Roma have taken A Cole, now Juve with Evra. Just doesn't make sense.When will they understand that investing in our youth, we will prevail at club and country level.Everybody claims how Germany are so good but that is why, they understood exactly that.When they lost to England 5-1, they sorted themselves out even by nationalising foreigners such as Khadira, Ozil, Podolski, Klose ecc.Italia take note for goodness sake.
on the 10th July, 2014 at 2:01pm
Juve have dominated serie a for the last 3 seasons. Its about time they started building a team capable of challenging in Europe. They were poor in the last two campaigns in Europe and Conte blamed it on not being able to play his favoured 4-3-3 - with Pepe being out and all. Morata fits well in a 4-3-3 system. He runs a lot, is very pacey - but a poor finisher. Not a natural scorer. The buy out clasue n contract may work against Juve which I think is why they want to buy him outright.
on the 10th July, 2014 at 12:01pm
Juve build and develop champions, we don't always buy them....Morata, Iturbe and Coman signings are smart purchases for a squad already filled with experience.
on the 10th July, 2014 at 10:27am
I think Juve will struggle in 433. We see the back 3 do not want 4. Evra is a waste of space - he will be destroyed.
352 seems still the best route for Juve with Pirlo, and 352 is still a worthwhile formation. Napoli fan, but do not want to see Pogba or Vidal leave. Morata has had 3 games last season, just 3 - he has potential but will have to be given time - I prefer him to Iturbe. Juve should seriously watch the price they pay for him.
on the 10th July, 2014 at 10:20am
Sanchez is unaffordable, not just the cost but his wages. Iturbe would be a more affordable investment, and means Juve can switch to the 4-3-3 which looks more likely next year especially for Europe.
on the 10th July, 2014 at 9:20am
Why not go for someone like markovic?? Gaitan?? They would add to our team and very versatile, Moreno for lwb/lb?? Darmian even...its very frustrating indeed and the fact that Italians keep hating on each other and the out dated laws and economy don't help! Serie a needs to rebuild as a whole or we will struggle for ten more years playin mg catch up, plus teams need to try harder in Europa! All these add up..better marketing wouldbg go a miss either
on the 9th July, 2014 at 9:27pm
Iturbe is no star name. Potential yes, proven quality? No! Same with marota! What's the point if in 2/3 seasons we sell them, my concern is if we lose vidal! Pogba etc and the fact that we are tryin to sign a has been in evra! 3 years ago we spent 75mil surely we had funds now to sign atleast ONE! Player who would make a diff like a Sanchez, di Maria type..agnelli thinks 3 more seasons and we should b able to compete! Conte wont b there guarunteed! Its been the same with juve for last 5years
on the 9th July, 2014 at 9:17pm
I like both Morata and Iturbe a lot, a couple of my favorite young players who I believe without any experience will make a bigger impact that Llorente or Tevez at their age. If they get both players I expect them to finally perform in Europe even though id rather see Napoli, Roma, or Inter at the top of serie a.
on the 9th July, 2014 at 6:45pm
I think it's more about having a long-term replacement for Tevez, too. He won't stick around. Also hanging on to Vidal and Pgba - although neither of them contributed much when it mattered most in Europe over the past two seasons.
on the 9th July, 2014 at 3:15pm
This could go one of two ways. Iturbe could be the key to unlocking some of the tighter defences and finally make Juve competitive in Europe. However (we can only live in hope) he could also mess up Conte's formation and actually hinder the team. Its going to be difficult to incorporate Iturbe into a side that plays 3 at the back unless they play 3-4-3. I'm delighted Milan didn't sign him since there's still hope for SES. We've of course also got Niang, Saponara, Honda and now Menez.
on the 9th July, 2014 at 2:54pm
Iturbe is good, it's just that I don't think he's worth all that money in these circumstances (the same applies to Morata). Juve has other problematic positions - money could be better spent on LBs/a CB/a creative midfielder to be able to play without Pirlo if Berardi had been chosen instead of overpriced Iturbe.
Sanchez would've been a great investment, but the WC made his price tag unreachable.
on the 9th July, 2014 at 1:39pm
case closed. outbid by athletico. the list goes on. dzeko, aguero, jovetic, higuain, sanchez and now iturbe... italian teams are broke.
on the 9th July, 2014 at 12:44pm
Morata seems to be a done deal, adding iturbe will definitely complete our atatck for years to come with the likes of morata,iturbe,coman,berardi,gabbiadini and beltrame.
on the 9th July, 2014 at 10:57am

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