The summer transfer window wouldn’t be the same without Juventus exploiting the Bosman market by nabbing the bargain of the summer and snapping up Europe’s finest for the grand prize of €0.
Just this week, the latest jealousy maker arrived when photos on social media showed Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Adrien Rabiot heading to Turin. The 24-year-old France midfielder is the 15th Bosman free transfer completed by Juventus in the past nine years. Doing business this way is a no-brainer and Juventus are the kings of it.
Following the free transfers of Aaron Ramsey and Rabiot, now confirmed, Juventus have successfully bolstered their midfield without breaking into their transfer kitty, just as they did last year when they snapped up German international Emre Can from Liverpool. Between the sticks, returning hero and all-time Juve legend Gianluigi Buffon is back where he belongs after a year away, also at Paris. That makes Buffon Juventus' third free transfer of the summer and with these deals all in place, manager Maurizio Sarri can begin to turn his attention to other areas of the squad.
Up front, The Old Lady are able to boast the ever-impressive pair of Paulo Dybala and Cristiano Ronaldo, rated by many as the greatest of all time, while Juventus have successfully fortified their midfield with the ‘freesome’ Rabiot, Ramsey and Can. So, what about in defence?
By spending so little so often, Juventus have become richer. That unspent money is burning a hole in Sarri’s back pocket and speculation about one player simply refuses to die: Ajax wonder-kid Matthijs de Ligt. Currently the most in-demand centre half in Europe, the 20-year-old Dutchman is wanted by numerous top clubs, including Barcelona. However, in the latest Serie A championship betting, De Ligt is odds on to be a Juve player come the end of the transfer window.
The Bianconeri have almost reached an agreement on all fronts, with Ajax, the player and his agent. The Serie A champions are supposedly offering €65 million to the Dutch club plus a further €10 million in bonuses. Once thought to be the leading candidates for the youngster’s signature, Barca seemingly had a €75 million offer agreed as recently as last month. Understandably, the Amsterdamers have warned Juve Sporting Director Fabio Paratici that they are not willing to accept an inferior offer. It’s also worth noting that the player’s agent is the notorious Mino Raiola, who is said to want upwards of €11 million himself, a figure that represents around 15% of the transfer fee for the young Dutch defender.
In short, by being thrifty elsewhere, Juventus, just as Cristiano Ronaldo requested, have been able to spend huge figures again - they have smashed the Serie A transfer record twice in the past three years - as well as offering De Ligt a starting wage of €8 million per season, with bonuses that could see the figure rise to around €12 million a year. With the deal is almost complete, it marks another occasion on which Juventus made a grand move in the summer market, just as they did last summer when they completed the €110 million signing of Cristiano Ronaldo. In doing so, they could well find themselves fully back amid the European elite come this time next year.