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Juventus have reportedly decided they will not sell Daniele Rugani or Mattia Caldara, despite strong interest in both defensive starlets.
According to Calciomercato.com’s Kaustubh Pandey, Arsenal have been chasing Rugani for some time, but the former Empoli man won’t depart for a fee below €40 million. Even with that valuation, the Bianconeri would rather keep him.
The same holds true for Caldara, with the club knocking back a €35 million offer already. The 23-year-old, who is currently on loan at Atalanta, will move to Turin in the summer and will not be brought in as Rugani’s replacement.
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There’s a lot of excitement surrounding the pending arrival of Caldara, who has emerged as one of Italy’s top defensive talents in the last two seasons. Juventus moved quickly on the youngster, signing him in January of 2017 but leaving him in Bergamo to continue his development.
Since then, Caldara has only improved. The centre-back blends great physical ability with solid vision, playing something of a throwback style of football that will remind fans of current Juventus star Giorgio Chiellini.
Caldara is more mobile than the 33-year-old, but like Chiellini, he won’t dazzle with his passing range. Instead, he’ll attack crosses, make plenty of crunching tackles and clear his fair share of balls. He also has an uncanny ability to score goals and loves to run forward:
Rugani has already been in Turin for some time, joining the Bianconeri after a remarkable spell with Empoli. Manager Massimiliano Allegri has brought him along slowly, and this season, he’s mostly been a part of the rotation, rather than a regular starter.
When he has played, Rugani has impressed greatly, and the team has been successful:
Daniele Rugani this season:
10 goals conceded
12 clean sheets
Super solid. https://t.co/3mU1DdJqrm
The 23-year-old has so far said all the right things―rather than complain about his role, he’s voiced his commitment to the club and delight he gets to learn from veterans like Chiellini and Andrea Barzagli.
Those two are 33 and 36 years old, respectively, and the latter in particular is starting to show his age. Rugani and Caldara are regarded as the club’s future at the centre-back position, explaining why the Bianconeri are desperate to keep hold of them.
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Their contrast in styles would make for a fantastic partnership: While Caldara plays a lot like Chiellini, Rugani is almost a copy of Barzagli, combining vision and technique to beat his opponent. Rugani rarely lunges into tackles―he doesn’t need to, as he’s usually in the right position to make the play.
Medhi Benatia has been in great form this season―a big reason why Rugani has played less than the fans would like―but he too is in his 30s and is not the future of the club.
Rugani and Caldara are, and it will take a huge offer to convince the Old Lady otherwise.