Despite Massimiliano Allegri’s claims that his Juventus squad will remain the same for the remainder of the 2021/22 season, there’s still potential for the club to shuffle their midfield pack before deadline day.
Arthur Melo has been strongly linked with a move to Arsenal, but the two clubs are yet to reach an agreement over a loan deal. Another Premier League club, meanwhile, have registered an interest in Uruguayan midfielder Rodrigo Bentancur.
Steven Gerrard’s Villa, who have already added Philippe Coutinho and Lucas Digne to their ranks this month, are supposedly readying an offer for Juve’s Bentancur.
Juventus make their Rodrigo Bentancur valuation amid Aston Villa’s interest
The Daily Mail’s Tom Collomosse was the first to report Villa’s interest in Bentancur. He reports that discussions are underway between the two clubs over a potential deal, with Gerrard keen on adding a holding midfielder to his ranks before the January transfer window closes.
Sky Sports add that Juventus currently value Bentancur at a mere £16m.
Bentancur, however, is not the holding midfielder the Villa boss desires. The Uruguayan endured a difficult season in 2020/21 when Andrea Pirlo attempted – and failed – to convert him into a regista. Allegri has since returned the 24-year-old to a box-to-box function this term and he’s impressed on occasions.
The Villa target is a relentless presser and his energy without the ball is infectious. However, much of his excellent work out of possession is undermined by a lack of technical security with the ball. This deficiency was exposed during Pirlo’s tutelage.
Nevertheless, Gerrard believes that Bentancur will provide stiff competition for Villa’s current first-choice #6, Douglas Luiz. What the Villa boss will quickly discover, though, is that the Uruguayan is more suited to one of the two #8 slots in his 4-3-2-1 formation.
All-action Scotsman John McGinn and talented youngster Jacob Ramsey are the preferred options in those roles.
Should Bentancur depart, expect Juve to pursue a replacement. Bruno Guimarães and Denis Zakaria are both well-liked by the club.