The January transfer window is on the horizon and for Juventus, it’s set to be a month full of trials and tribulations.
The Bianconeri are desperate to rejuvenate and rebuild their squad but the reluctance of so many clubs to let star players depart midway through a season means business is always tricky to pull off in the winter.
Nevertheless, the Juve hierarchy will try their utmost to shape up Massimiliano Allegri’s squad for the better after an indifferent first half to the 2021/22 season. The remainder of the campaign will arguably be even trickier as the Bianconeri attempt to progress deep into the Champions League and Coppa Italia, all while trying to climb up the Serie A table.
While January won’t be a month of superstar arrivals or departures, astute work on both fronts is possible for Juventus. It’s a huge month for Federico Cherubini, who struggled in his first transfer window as Juventus’ sporting director. He, along with the rest of the Juve hierarchy, must pull a few rabbits out of several hats this winter. They’ve got to be bold!
Speaking of which, here are four bold predictions for Juventus’ 2022 January transfer window.
1. Paulo Dybala, Federico Bernardeschi & Juan Cuadrado all extend their contracts
Okay, so this first prediction isn’t exactly transfer related. Instead, it’s all about contracts!
Juventus have dithered over the extensions of several stars, but January should be the month where solutions manifest. There doesn’t seem to be any doubt over Juan Cuadrado’s new contract, while the club are keen to reward Federico Bernardeschi with an extension following his stellar end to the calendar year.
Those are two deals that should be wrapped up by the end of the transfer window.
Paulo Dybala’s situation, however, remarkably remains entrenched in ambiguity. For so long it appeared that La Joya’s extension was a mere matter of time, but the latest reports suggest that this is not a done deal. Negotiations are set to continue throughout January with Juventus supposedly keen to reduce the length of Dybala’s extension to three years as opposed to five. Perhaps the Argentine’s perpetual injury woes have spooked the Bianconeri somewhat.
Still, we’re backing Juventus to get this one over the line pretty sharpish. By the end of January, Dybala would’ve penned his new contract in Turin and we think it’ll be by four years.
2. Dejan Kulusevski leaves
Juventus will let Dejan Kulusevski depart this winter if a feasible offer arrives… and we think it will. Bayern Munich, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur have all been linked with the young Swede.
At this stage, the Italian-led Spurs appear to be the front-runners. Fabio Paratici and Antonio Conte are both admirers of the player and the Lilywhites seem willing to match Juve’s demands. The Bianconeri want €35m and if Spurs stump up the cash, Juve won’t hesitate in letting him go.
While distinctly talented, Kulusevski has failed to hit his projected heights in Turin. He’s been somewhat outcasted by Massimiliano Allegri and at this primitive stage of his career, a move away might be the best option for him.
3. Juventus fail to land a sufficient striker target
Juventus’ striker situation is one to keep a watchful eye on next year. Cristiano Ronaldo’s swift exit last summer stunned the club into action, but all they could do was reunite with Moise Kean to barely mitigate against the great one’s departure.
Alvaro Morata has struggled to fill the boots of the departed, and the Spaniard’s future is up in the air. Barcelona are interested and it’s clear that Juventus do not view him as the long-term solution to their striker problem.
The Bianconeri will undoubtedly try to sign their striker for the next decade in 2022, but identifying that ideal option will be tricky in January. A move for Dusan Vlahovic seems almost impossible to pull off financially (even in the summer), while Sassuolo will not let Gianluca Scamacca depart midway through the season.
Thus, Juve will likely attempt to secure a stop-gap option for six months before reassessing in the summer. But we think they’ll struggle to find a sufficient short-term answer. Mauro Icardi has little interest in leaving Paris, Arkadiusz Milik won’t be pursued, nor will Memphis Depay.
Juventus have a whole month to scan Europe for an alternative, but we reckon this predicament will conclude with a last-minute panic buy on Deadline Day.
Odion Ighalo is coming, folks.
4. Arthur Melo stays at the club
Like Kulusevski, Juventus would be happy to see the back of Arthur Melo in January. However, selling him outright will be a tough ask and if the Brazilian was to leave, it’ll almost certainly be on an initial loan deal.
Despite this, we’re boldly claiming that Arthur will stay at Juventus for the rest of the season. The Bianconeri are keen to reshuffle their midfield pack once again this winter, but instead of the metronomic Brazilian leaving alongside Aaron Ramsey, we think an alternative option will be sacrificed – perhaps a player that’ll garner an immediate fee. Rodrigo Bentancur, maybe.
With two leaving, one should arrive to bolster Juve’s midfield department. For now, the most likely option is Borussia Monchengladbach’s Denis Zakaria and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Juve act proactively in their pursuit of the Swiss international.
Instead of allowing his contract to run down and try their luck against increased competition in the summer, the Old Lady may well submit a small offer for Zakaria in January to get ahead of the chasing pack.