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Thursday August 1 2019
Juve chasing the wrong man

Football Italia Chief Correspondent Richard Hall looks at the deal for Romelu Lukaku and asks if this really is the right move for Juventus?

When the first headlines appeared that Juventus were in talks for Romelu Lukaku, everyone assumed it was purely a show of spite to cause problems for Inter and their former heroes Antonio Conte and Beppe Marotta. Now it looks as if they genuinely want the Manchester United striker and are prepared to sacrifice Paulo Dybala to achieve this aim.

If the transfer happens, then Manchester United will get a potentially World Class No 10, a man who needs the team to be centred around him, a big game player who can be decisive, but who can also be just as divisive and a little bit troublesome. No, the subject matter isn’t Paul Pogba, so perhaps we will leave this issue for the people in Manchester.

Dybala’s role has been diminished since Cristiano Ronaldo arrived at Juventus and the statistics have confirmed that. With only five goals, it has been his worst season in the black and white stripes and many who follow the Bianconeri have questioned whether he really does have a place in this new Juventus. With Mario Mandzukic being generally consistent and flexible, the return of Gonzalo Higuain and the new look Federico Bernardeschi, who has played well in pre-season, is there a place for him?

Maurizio Sarri, however, has hinted that he could play as a False 9, he has also praised the Argentine as being incredibly flexible, but this doesn’t help the situation. It is true that he can play out wide, but how will he get the chance with Ronaldo on one flank and Bernardeschi on the other? There is no doubting his talent and in another team he may well flourish, but it seems his time maybe up at Juventus.

However, is Lukaku in exchange for Dybala really the move Juve need right now?

Over in Milan, Mauro Icardi is training hard on his own, as he is desperate to stay at Inter. It isn’t going to happen, the club have made up their mind and he will depart at some point. It isn’t always easy to put Mauro’s baggage to one side, but when we do, we have one of the most dangerous strikers in Europe, if not the world.

Yes, his wife and agent Wanda Nara is problematic, but in fairness she has negotiated two contracts for him in a public yet ultimately efficient manner. If she were an anonymous old man, we would probably praise her. She’s said nothing worse in public than Mino Raiola and he’s considered the best in the business.

Even so, Juventus have the opportunity to negotiate a deal with Inter that could ultimately see them pay much more (due to their desperation) to get this swap deal done with Dybala. Inter need a player like Paulo, while Juventus with Ronaldo and Icardi would be devastating.

Perhaps the reason that Lukaku hasn’t been mentioned until now is because the deal with Dybala seems confusing. It has been established that perhaps Dybala needs/wants to go and there is an obvious deal to be done, but the move for the Belgian seems odd. It is understandable why Inter want him, he fits that system, he is man who can hold the ball up, but even Beppe Marotta has looked at the price and said: “That’s more than enough.”

Is the Belgian of Juventus quality and is he consistent enough? It is understandable that Sarri wants a man who can get play the role of Higuain at Napoli and become the Capocannoniere, but is this Lukaku? He certainly has qualities, but it’s arguable that playing Ronaldo in the centre would bring you more consistency. It is true that for Belgium he has proved he can perform, but the deal feels like a gamble Juventus don’t need to take.

‘The Old Lady’ are entering a new un-Juventus like era, if that is even a phrase. It is far removed from the efficient winning machine that we have seen under previous Coaches. Now the brand demands attractive football, so here comes Sarri. With this they need a clinical finisher to be the cymbals at the end of the symphony.

Think about this emphatic enforcer, this assassin, this man who gives that second’s silence before the applause… You’re thinking about Icardi, aren’t you? Not Lukaku.

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Have your say...
The first move to solve Juventus problems, and believe me if they think that Lukaku will be an improvement on Dybala, Higuain and Manduzic they do have problems,is to get rid of Paratici and his advisors. They should never have parted with Marotta who was a proven success at the club and is already starting to improve Inter.

Then they should start utilising the brilliant Ronaldo to the advantage of his attacking colleagues and not just himself, then you will see an improvement in goals for colu
on the 5th August, 2019 at 11:10am
Juve have left me shocked. The blueprint of what they used to stand for has completely gone. Ronaldo started this 'revolution'. The end of italian football is complete.
on the 4th August, 2019 at 1:23pm
I'm not so convinced that Sarri is the right man for Juve right this point in time. The proof will be at seasons end. If Sarri's new ideas and approach take off, then great! Yet if it takes time for the squad to adjust it could prove another lost opportunity....as is selling Kean! What team in Europe declines on an up front pairing that includes Ronaldo and Kean..Oh I know, Juventus! Juve says no to the best of both youth and experience. Instead talk Lukaku...Welllooooo!
on the 4th August, 2019 at 7:17am
@forzajuve 41. You could be right in your conspiracy theory. If you are, then Id say it's short sighted by Juve coz if Ronaldo's coming to serie A has benefitted all teams financially in terms of league visibility, Juve would actually benefit if inter become strong along with Napoli and Roma etc coz more money for better league as we can't o on winning league forever. It will end. When we finish 2nd or 3rd we still get proper money coz of stronger league.
on the 3rd August, 2019 at 10:25am
This Niscist is stupid lol . No need for reply guys.
on the 3rd August, 2019 at 1:27am
Juventus shouldn't buy lukaku as he is not a world class striker. He is good player but not enough for Champions League they should go for LAZIO IMMOBILE or INTER ICARDI as both have plenty of SERIE A experience. These are the strikers capable of getting you MAX semi- finals if they are on form. I think Juventus will win the title again BUT for Champions League they should at least aim for semi finals and then take it futher.
on the 3rd August, 2019 at 12:48am
No need for Juve to chase the right man. They already got their 12 man, and you guess it right, it's the ref's. Juve can't win CL, because ref's are not Juve there.
on the 2nd August, 2019 at 9:47pm
Is there a hope that its all a ploy to snooker inter? Pull the plug at the last minute then leave them stuck with icardi and no forward. That would seem a pretty sneaky piece of politics.

Ps i hope it isnt a case of keeping agents sweet....

What poss reason for no kean buyback? Sounds like riaola has got his hooks in a bit too deep.
on the 2nd August, 2019 at 9:27pm
Attractive football. Right.
Without a player like Dybala? Really, what kind?
on the 2nd August, 2019 at 8:02pm
@Ferban: I agree Juve need to sell midfielders esp Khedira and probably Matuidi. But we still lack 1 more name in midfield coz I believe Ramsey is not worth a starting jersey in Juve if we are aiming for champions league. A midfield 3 of Pogba, pjanic and Rabiot is technically and tactically gifted enough to get us somewhere. Our knly worry will be out number 10 of whom I think for the time being we can try Bernadeschi or even Pogba in this role with Bentancur/Can/Ramsey taking his position.
on the 2nd August, 2019 at 6:21pm
Padoin… that's hirarous. Never even thought of him
on the 2nd August, 2019 at 6:07pm
@Anthony cont: we all know Iniesta is a better player regardless of different role they play in midfield. 3. Let inter strengthen coz it makeseague more appealing and this more money in TV rights and sponsorship for not just inter but all serie A clubs. . . Better stadia, can afford better players in future. . . A better league. So avoiding to strengthen your rival is Myopic/shortsighted. When serie A was top, the top teams would trade and sell players to each other this popularising league.
on the 2nd August, 2019 at 6:05pm
@Anthony. 1. It's time serie A fans and club management realise that the coming of starts like Ronaldo to serie A boosts image of league. More stars like dybala should not be sold outside the league in a bid to avoid strengthening a rival coz it kills the appeal of the league by selling best players abroad. 2. Relying on statistics 100% is dangerous coz u can end up buying a Lukaku. Statistics should be used as a general guidlien but not religiously coz Ozil boasts better stats than Iniesta.
on the 2nd August, 2019 at 6:01pm
This lumbering oaf is the antithesis of a Sarri type striker. He has the first touch of a lamppost, and the passing efficiency of a platypus. LolCackU becoming a Juventus player is a terrible joke, unfortunately one that is likely to transpire and become a reality. United get rid of a player they desperately want to offload, and once again the Juventus management bend over like a horny old lady to take it up the rear from a bunch of red devils.
on the 2nd August, 2019 at 5:12pm
padoin > icardi & lukaku
bring back padoin!!
on the 2nd August, 2019 at 1:35pm
Here's the calculation for Juve taking Lukaku not Icardi...

1. Proven goalscorer acquired (Premiership/Internationals).
2. Avoid sending Dybala to a Serie A rival.
3. Weaken a rival (Inter) who have to retain a player they don't want (Icardi) if you choose Lukaku.
4. Maybe move ahead in the race to sign Pogba next season by doing business with Utd this year (Dybala and Mandzukic)
on the 2nd August, 2019 at 11:31am
@Rimo Moron-lato

Calling a spade a spade is not indicative of a drinking problem you blithering nincompoop... It's the truth. Just because your basic mind cannot see the obvious doesn't make me delirious or stupid, it shows your inability to comprehend facts.

Check the last 2 days worth of news on FI

- (Yesterday) Cancelo closer than ever to Man City
- (Today) Cancelo nowhere close to joining Man City

Such bile deserves to be trashed - and that's all.

PS: Read comments properly
on the 2nd August, 2019 at 8:40am
What Juve need is Kean. I have no clue what is going on with the Juve leadership. This Lukaku move seems like it could be money laundering. But what do I know...

And what is this fondness of Icardi all of a sudden? You can tell a person's personality with how he treats people close to him. He has already married his friend's wife, took his children (while not allowing Lopez to even speak to them). Wanda controls him so much, even controls his career! Icardi is failure as a man, complete douche.
on the 2nd August, 2019 at 8:03am
Dybala can leave, this I as a supporter don't have a problem with. He is not consistent enough and his development has stopped. He will also never recover from his lack of pace and will struggle in big games.

The type of player Lukaku represents attracts me, but not for this money/value.

Icardi will never feature under Sarri, he is not working enough. Great in the box but when the ball is not there his team will always be a ten man team.
on the 2nd August, 2019 at 7:29am
Pinturicchio put down the bottle - what do you pay to participate in the toings and doings of all things italian football as curated by football-italia?
$1M? $1? do they garnish your wages? up your taxes?
you should have '0' tolerance for grammar but after that its just best judgement...opinion.
rage? that's just small
on the 2nd August, 2019 at 2:28am
@EDMULAN

You want to pay 150m for a guy with a terrible attitude?!

Pogba has been a disgrace for large spells at United. He was fine at Juve when he was young and surrounded by serious pros, but his attitude has gone to hell since.

And Juve need to sell midfielders, not buy more.
on the 1st August, 2019 at 11:25pm
Completly disappointed with Juve selling Kean and sending Dybala for Lukaku. This was completly insane.....
on the 1st August, 2019 at 10:54pm
No the worst trade in football but it's kinda bad..
Still some ring a bell . Cannavaro for Carini - Cocco for Seedorf - Ian Wright for some wights - Roberto Carlos for Ivan Zamorano :D
on the 1st August, 2019 at 10:27pm
...More like Juve chasing and selling the wrong players. Why not just keep Moise Kean? Juve are happy to sell a young Italian player with immense potential, only to chase an ageing Belgian who's had his 15 minutes of fame and past his best. This is bad karma and nothing good will come of this. Juve blowing their Eurpoean prospects yet again.
on the 1st August, 2019 at 10:03pm
On top of this Kean will go to Everton and score more goals and perform better than this OVER FKING PRICED DONKEY!!!!! And probably not even a buy back clause for Kean! Too many BS worthless deals from clueless BS Directors in Serie A who like to peddle in donkeys and old men instead of youth. You want to trim the fact and reign in costs? Start getting rid of the worthless layers of management that screw up teams more than anyone else.
on the 1st August, 2019 at 9:51pm
...lost for words on this! Has to be one of the worst nightmares coming true! The mancs and their rags of supporters must be chomping at the bit with this swap! If juve want rid of Dybala then sell him for 80-100 mill euros! Don’t swap for this huge donkey who doesn’t possess a first touch! Everton and WBA were his highest levels! I thought juve could well be heading in the right direction but when this came to light god help us!
on the 1st August, 2019 at 8:18pm
Madness! This has to be the worst proposed exchange transfer in the history of exchange transfers ... in any transfer market...... for any sport....... in the history of world football! It’s like exchanging an Italian Ferrari for a Belgian tractor.
Dybala deserves the chance to see if he can fit into Sarri’s style of football. If he can’t, and the team is still winning without him, then let him move on next summer.
on the 1st August, 2019 at 5:45pm
I have read all the article, up until the end to find out that writer is a big fan of Icardi. We can now speak about Luaku, is he right fit for Juve or not ( I personaly believe he is) but this is not the point of my comment. The point is we don't want to have a man without integrity and cerdibility in our team. We don't wan to have Wanda's puppet in our team. And after all, we don't want to have Icardi in our team, a man who stole wife out of his best friend. Shamless man, never to come to Juve
on the 1st August, 2019 at 5:29pm
If you wanna make the case for Mauro Icardi, go ahead. But don't make up this garbage about how she'd be praised if she were a man.

Stop that.

And Raiola is a jerk, so what's the point?
on the 1st August, 2019 at 5:22pm
I am wondering what Paratici is doing at juve. He is selling Dybala for Lukaku?! How? I know Dybala is mentally weak and merits to be sold but we would rather get Pogba. Then how does he sell Cancelo who is probably the best right back in Europe right now? I don't understand what Paratici is doing. Andrea Agnelli should intervene and we get Pogba instead of Lukaku.
on the 1st August, 2019 at 5:03pm

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