Since signing Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid in July 2018 for £99.2 million, there has been a clear pursuit of stellar talent to help Juventus become European champions.
That move to sign one of the world’s best and most marketable players was a major part of a journey that they hope makes them the best team on the pitch, and the biggest club off it, by 2024.
Their signings in recent times have been bold and shown different aspects of their power. Last summer, they signed Matthijs de Ligt from Ajax—beating the likes of Barcelona to his signature—showing they could entice the best up and coming talent in the world, as well as an established superstar like Ronaldo.
And now we have seen their pursuit of Arthur Melo from Barcelona, which is up-to-the minute evidence they can also take away key players—not yet in their prime—from another superclub.
At the time of writing, the deal as not been closed, but Juve have had to get smart in order to sign Arthur, taking a slightly different approach from the past two years.
They have not been concerned about their approach to spending until now. Joao Cancelo, Douglas Costa and Leonardo Bonucci were also signed in the summer of 2018 for a combined fee of around £104 million.
The following summer they laid out a further £169.65 million on transfer deals for De Ligt, Danilo, Cristian Romero, Luca Pellegrini and Merih Demiral. On top of all that, they signed free agents Aaron Ramsey, Adrien Rabiot and Gianluigi Buffon on huge contracts. And in January, they sealed a deal for £31.5 million Dejan Kulusevski, 20, from Atalanta.
Suddenly, though, the Italian champions are having to curb their enthusiasm for big-money signings.
The impact of COVID-19 is to be felt hard in Turin, and sources say the lack of incoming revenue has led the club to think more carefully about how they balance the books. Big fees are a problem, and so too are the high wages they have been dishing out.
The simple solution is that Juve will look to sell in order to buy. And as part of that, big names can leave—with Gonzalo Higuain and Miralem Pjanic among the most high-profile figures available. Continue reading