Juventus reach agreement for Empoli’s Traore and Bentancur wants to stay


Empoli president Fabrizio Corsi confirmed the recent buzz about Juventus being hot on the trails of Hamed Traore in an interview to Tuttomercatoweb: “The deal is on the homestretch, only the signatures are missing but everything has been defined and we gave our word. In January, he was a kid with a high potential, in the last five months he became a player with a very important future. Right now, he is a complimentary piece for big teams, but I believe he is destined to have a fantastic career because he is at 70/80 percent of his technical and physical abilities right now. His smartness is off the charts and the rest of his game will eventually catch up to it.”

The 19-year-old central midfielder is set to be loaned to another Serie A team next season, with Sassuolo and Cagliari as the favorites. He collected 32 appearances in his first year in Serie A, registering two goals and two assists. Empoli sold him to Fiorentina in January for €15M, but, despite the official announcement, the paperwork was never finalized because La Viola wanted some specific tests due to a potential heart condition. Traore did miss some time in February, but started in the final 11 games and had his best performances in such stretch. The move should be for about the same fee.

Corsi also weighed in on Maurizio Sarri, who continues to be the clear frontrunner for the Juventus job: “I would hug him, this thing makes me emotional. He gave us great satisfactions. He has a peculiar character, he looks a bit surly but he has a very pleasant personality and he is a top notch coach. I think this is a big breakthrough and I hope he can do at Juventus what he has been able to do in Naples, where he convinced the players to buy into his ideas in about 20 days.”

Rodrigo Bentancur spoke from the Uruguayan camp where he is gearing up for Copa America: “I am not aware of the rumours linking me to Atletico Madrid, I have read something about it on the social media, but nobody told me anything directly. The truth is that I am great at Juventus, I have no reason to transfer and if it was up to me I would never leave this great club.” Bentancur has a contract till 2022 but it might be reworked after a pretty positive season.

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