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Juventus will reportedly look to follow up their capture of Cristiano Ronaldo by signing either one of Atletico Madrid’s central-defensive duo, Diego Godin or Stefan Savic.
The Bianconeri have recruited one of La Liga’s most revered forwards in Ronaldo, but Tuttosport (h/t MailOnline’s Jonathan Spencer) said they’re now targeting a defensive addition from the Wanda Metropolitano.
The £100 million signing of Ronaldo, per Spencer’s report, served as a reminder of Juve’s sway in the transfer market, and tempting Los Rojiblancos into selling one of their back-line stars will require more tough negotiation.
Uruguay captain Godin, 32, is a particularly valued member of Diego Simeone’s side, and Statman Dave pointed to him as one of the most reliable defensive players in Europe last term:
Statman Dave @StatmanDave
Total defensive errors last season:
Giorgio Chiellini (3)
Samuel Umtiti (3)
Jérôme Boateng (1)
Diego Godín (1)
Clément Lenglet (1)
Leonardo Bonucci (0)
World class. 🇮🇹 🇮🇹 🇮🇹
Savic, 27, was his centre-back partner of choice when fit and started in all but one of his 27 league appearances in 2017-18, keeping Godin’s international team-mate Jose Gimenez out of the side for the majority.
There were suggestions earlier this summer that the Montenegro international could leave Madrid, although agent Zarko Pelicic told fan site TuttoJuve (h/t Football Espana) they would respect Atletico’s wishes on a decision:
“Stefan is a player who is always very interesting.
“He has top quality, he can play for any of the top four teams in the best leagues.
“I can’t name names, everything goes through the club. He’s currently an Atletico Madrid player, we’ll evaluate what’s best for the club and the lad.”
Savic seems the more plausible target for Juve in that he may not govern as big a transfer fee and already has experience playing in Italy, having moved to Madrid from Fiorentina in the summer of 2015.
But Godin, even in his more advanced years, may be the more desirable candidate, and sportswriter Andy West hailed his importance for Uruguay despite their housing talents like Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani:
Andy West @andywest01
Cavani out is obviously a blow to Uruguay but the general team structure is so strong, and the Godin/Gimenez axis is the most important part of the team.
Ronaldo’s move to Turin aids Juve greatly in that not only have they added one of the best players in history to their ranks, but his addition will make Juventus a much more attractive destination to many.
Italian football writer Adam Digby provided context on the current landscape of Juve’s centre-back ranks, having already struggled to offer Daniele Rugani, 23, the minutes he might have desired (22 Serie A appearances last term):
Adam Digby @Adz77
As I’ve written a number of times before, the idea of Juventus, a team who are continually in “win now mode” suddenly turning their defence over to a pair of 23/24 year olds is absolute fantasy. Chiellini is 33, Benatia 31, they’re not going anywhere. Team will gradually refresh. https://t.co/2N04zZjYTs
But there is some need for Massimiliano Allegri to address his central-defender reserves. Andrea Barzagli, 37, has one year remaining on his contract, while Benedikt Howedes has returned to Schalke following his season on loan in Italy.
Mattia Caldara, 24, has returned from loan at Atalanta, meanwhile, but it seems the Serie A champions will cast their eye back to La Liga in an effort to sign a star more ready to make an instant impact on their plans.