Mauro Icardi to Juventus: The Pros and the Cons

Recently it’s been reported that Juventus are heavily interested in Inter forward Mauro Icardi and will turn their attention to the Argentine forward after wrapping up their deal for Matthijs de Ligt. The 26-year-old has fallen out with the nerrazzurri, and is no longer in Antonio Conte’s plans for the upcoming season.

Inter sporting director Giuseppe Marotta recently went as far as proclaiming this in the media. In an interview, Marotta said: “When building a project, you have to find the right profiles. Both players (Icardi and Nainggolan) know full well they are not part of our plans.” 

While these comments may drop the striker’s valuation, it indicates one thing: Inter are prioritizing the squad over individuals. However, these claims do open up an avenue for a bargain for Juventus; but is Icardi worth it?

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On one hand, Icardi is one of the most lethal strikers in the world and can hurt the opposition with limited touches. Much like Cristiano Ronaldo, the Argentine doesn’t need many opportunities to score, and is proven at the European level as well. In this sense, pairing him with Ronaldo could prove to be a masterstroke, especially with Paulo Dybala pulling the strings behind them.

If Sarri plans on alternating between a 4-3-3 and 4-3-1-2, two formations he’s used throughout his managerial career, the move for Icardi makes plenty of sense. However, if the former Chelsea tactician plans on going with one striker, Icardi’s arrival will undoubtedly stunt the growth of Moise Kean; something Juventus can ill afford. Kean is one of the peninsula’s most highly-rated forwards and the bianconeri will be looking to make him a centrepiece of the side for years to come.

In a two-striker formation, however, there will be plenty of time to go around for Ronaldo, Icardi and Kean. Meanwhile, Dybala, Federico Bernardeschi and Aaron Ramsey are all capable of playing behind them as the side’s trequartista. As a whole, that’s an elite front-line, which unlike this past season, compliments each other.

On the other side of the debate, Icardi has typically been a negative locker room influence, and resorts to off-field antics when things don’t go his way. When he was stripped of the Inter captaincy, the Argentine sidelined himself with many dubious injuries and refused to train. Then, of course, there’s his agent and wife, Wanda Nara. Nara’s influence on Icardi over the years has only grown and she has shown no regard for Inter this past season.

Much like Icardi, Nara is quick to voice her discontent in public and often plays games on social media. The main fear is that this divisive duo may disrupt the harmony in Juventus’ locker room. With that being said, Icardi has never been part of a team with real leaders, and in Torino, he will have to answer to Gianluigi Buffon, Cristiano Ronaldo and Giorgio Chiellini among others. Rather than being tasked with leading the team like he was at Inter, Icardi’s sole focus will be on scoring goals.

The move to Juventus will also represent much more for Icardi. As Inter’s fiercest rivals, the former Sampdoria man will be joining the bianconeri with a point to prove. It’s not every day that one of the best strikers in the world is outcasted from a new coach’s plans. This chip on his shoulder will undoubtedly spur him to new heights and let’s not forget, Juventus have a decent track record with difficult characters. See: Carlos Tevez.

While Icardi has zero goals in open play in 2019, a red flag of its own, a lot of his poor form can be attributed to the fallout between him and Inter. Once he makes the switch, expect to see an eager and refreshed Icardi.

In terms of price, Inter are reportedly looking for 70 million euros for their star striker. However, due to Marotta’s recent comments, Juventus are confident they can close the deal for much less. If reports are to be believed, the Italian champions will soon table a bid in and around the 40-45 million euro range, and will look to close the deal closer to that mark than Inter’s valuation.

Considering the situation and Icardi’s willingness to join Juventus, the bianconeri would be foolish not to make a move. The Argentine is available cheaply, and is an elite number nine that could propel them to the next level. When presented with this type of opportunity on the mercato, you take it. Ronaldo has shown no signs of slowing down, but he won’t be able to lead the Juventus front-line forever either while the 26-year-old is frankly in his prime. Icardi’s arrival, in this sense, works both in the long-run and in the short-term. There’s a reason these rumours have emerged as much more than pure conjuncture. With the ball firmly in their court, Juventus are a few sales away from making Icardi to Juve a reality.

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Paratici talks Ronaldo deal, Marotta, Conte vs Allegri and more

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Sky Sport is running a series of interviews with sporting directors because of the start of the transfer market and they commenced with Juventus one Fabio Paratici, who inevitably talked about the Cristiano Ronaldo deal. “When I met with Jorge Mendes to discuss Joao Cancelo, he told me: ‘You will not believe this but Cristiano wants to join Juventus.’ I answered: ‘I believe it, but it is difficult to make it work. My son has always been a big fan of him, I bought him a Portugal jersey, and through the years he repeatedly asked me why we were not buying him and I replied that it was impossible. I could not find an answer when he made the question again after we pulled it off. It was an easy negotiation because he was determined to come here.” Continue reading

Could Carlos Tevez be returning to the Premier League this summer?

Juventus striker Carlos Tevez is being linked with a move to a Premier League side this summer, with the Argentina international in the last year of his deal with the Serie A champions. He’s enjoyed a real resurgence in Italy, staking a claim to be regarded a top-10 striker in Europe again, and his next destination could see a return to England if recent reports are to be believed.

Premier League side Liverpool, French Ligue One champions Paris Saint-Germain, Spanish La Liga outfit Atletico Madrid, and boyhood club Boca Junior are three sides linked with his services. Despite a successful spell with Juventus, Tevez is alleged to want out of the club ahead of the new campaign, and has said he will make a decision on his future this week.

The 31-year-old has always said he wants to return to his boyhood side to retire, but he’s also had a successful spell in the Premier League that could lure him in the summer. His career was thought to be on the down-spiral when he left Manchester City to join Juventus, but Tevez has since won two league titles, and two domestic honours.

He scored 20 league goals as Juventus sealed their fourth consecutive Serie A title, while netting seven times in the Champions League en route to the final. Typically industrious in attack, Tevez has been ruthless in front of goal in the last 10 months, expertly leading the line in 48 games in all competitions. The experienced forward will be inundated with offers this summer, and the Boca club president admitted holding talks with Tevez.

Given the lack of top available strikers that present value for money, Tevez may yet be convinced to put his inevitable return to Boca on hold, with Europe having been his home for the last nine years. He boasts an impressive CV of success, and could be made an offer that he can’t resist by clubs with lucrative resources. The 31-year-old missed out on the Champions League, losing in this summer’s final against Barcelona, so a piece of him may have unfinished business at the top level.

Moving to Boca Junior while he’s still in fantastic form is premature, and would rule out any future chance of European glory. He was voted Juventus’ Player of the Season for a second consecutive campaign, and could well make one more move up the ladder according to recent interest.

So could Carlos Tevez be returning to the Premier League?

Carlos Tevez like fine wine as he keeps getting better with age

Juventus striker Carlos Tevez recently made a telling contribution in the Old Lady’s Champions League last-16 second leg clash against Borussia Dortmund, scoring two goals and assisting a third, as the perennial Italian Serie A champions comfortably dispatched of their German Bundesliga opponents at the Westfalenstadion.

The 31-year-old scored two goals from as many shots, made one assist, created three chances, completed more than 90% of his passes,  and made two successful dribbles. His performance mirrors what the Argentine has been doing in the Italian Serie A on a near regular basis, and it seems growing old has transformed Tevez as a European heavyweight once more.

The former Manchester City, Manchester United and West Ham front man has scored 15 goals in 23 Serie A starts this season, netting six times in eight Champions League games. He’s leading the Bianconeri to another league title, with Juventus currently 14 points clear of second-placed AS Roma with 11 games to go in the season. Tevez is renowned for his work-rate and industrious approach in attack, but he has also been displaying some great individual moves to remind the masses of his technical ability.

“Tevez is an extraordinary striker. Not only does he score goals, but he also helps his teammates and the midfield too,” said head coach Massimiliano Allegri following Juventus’ Champions League win against Borussia Dortmund.

It’s been a long time since Tevez set the Champions League alight, but he hasn’t looked back after ending his lengthy wait for a European goal. While his time in the Premier League ended in acrimony and speculation, he’s finally at home in Italy. The Argentina striker signed for Juventus for only £7.6M in July 2013, and took little time to find his feet, scoring 19 goals in 34 league games in 2013/14, and has 15 this campaign.

His form was so impressive that it led to him returning for his country (Argentina) after a three-year absence from the national team, gaining two caps in 2014 for the South American outfit.

He turns 32 next year, yet he has emphatically silenced his critics in Italy. Tevez has proven to be an astute bargain buy two years ago from Manchester City. He was named in the Europa League Team of the Season, Serie A Team of the Year and Juventus’ Player of the Season (2013/14) following a brilliant debut campaign for the Old Lady.

Just how good has Carlos Tevez been for Juventus this season?