Caceres and Benatia speak, Juventus sell Audero and road records


The arrival of Martin Caceres was made official yesterday and the defender re-introduced himself to the club’s TV: “I am very happy for this return, this has always been my home. When I received the proposal, I looked back at all my years here. This jersey has been part of my heart. Everything comes in threes and it is the second time I join in January. I scored on my debut twice and they were meaningful goals, so I hope it will happen again. This team, despite all their winning, does not want to stop and that is how I felt about them looking at them from the outside. I have played in every position in the back-line, so I can be a jack-of-all-trades that can help the squad. I will bring enthusiasm and I will give my best, trying to prove every day that I am the same player I was when I left two and half years ago. As far as Cristiano Ronaldo goes, his career speaks for itself and he can prove in Serie A too what kind of champion he is.”

Medhi Benatia wrote his parting words on Instagram: “In July I was sure I would finish my career at Juventus, however sometimes life brings some surprises and therefore I had to change my plans, but still with the desire and determination to win and trying to make a choice that could help my family too. I understand that some might not accept it but I simply ask to respect it. Let’s go Juventus and try to win it all, everything is possible with this great group.” The reference is not so subtly to Leonardo Bonucci’s return and the previous day he stated he hoped he would see everybody again in Madrid for the Champions League final.

Despite Massimiliano Allegri’s words yesterday, Mario Mandzukic has not been called up for tonight’s game against Atalanta as he is still trying to shake off a thigh strain. Sami Khedira and Miralem Pjanic are available after missing time with a bruised knee and a sore calf. Leonardo Bonucci was diagnosed with an ankle sprain with ligament damage and he is rumoured to be out for about a month and will try to return for February 20th’s bout with Atletico Madrid, therefore he is slated to miss the next three Serie A matches. Andrea Barzali has a similar timetable.

Juventus have officially renegotiated the Emil Audero deal with Sampdoria, who was a on a season-long loan with €15M option to buy. The formula has turned into a €20M obligation to buy if the Blucerchiati reach some team results, likely easily attainable. In return, the Bianconeri have waived their buy-back clause, but they have reportedly retained a first refusal and the right to match the offer in case the goalkeeper is sold in the next few years. Sampdoria also included young prospect Douda Peeters in the deal.

The squad has had some impressive achievement this season both on and off the pitch, one of the most noteworthy ones is that they have broken attendance’s records on the road in nine of their ten away fixtures, in Rome against Lazio, in Verona, Empoli, Frosinone, Florence, Milan, Parma, Turin and Udine. This despite the fact that ticket prices usually increase when the Old Lady comes to town. Speaking of records, Cristiano Ronaldo is chasing one related to this matter, since he has scored in eight straight road games and he is two shy of Beppe Signori as far as Serie A goes, while he would need to replicate that for five more games to tie what Leo Messi has been able to do with Barcelona in 2013.

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