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Juventus signings: What exactly could Juve do with €100m of Paul Pogba money?

Monday 11th July 2016
There always has to be one cross-continent transfer saga per summer, and this year's will-they-won't-they drama has already been firmly established as the ballad of Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba's potential return to Old Trafford.

Do Juventus require Pogba over pennies?

Whether prodigal Manchester United son Pogba is worth a mooted €100m in cold hard cash is subjective; with the story so far hashed out in English tabloids being whether the France international can be convinced to revisit the Red Devils, or if his heart is set on Spain and usual last of the big spenders Real Madrid.

There is, however, agent fees, cuts and will aside, a third party in this transfer tug-of-war for Les Bleus' midfield prodigy - and that is current club Juventus.
The Old Lady or the Girlfriend of Italy, whichever nickname you use to dub this giant of clubs, may have offloaded the likes of Arturo Vidal in recent transfer windows - but that does not mean they are a selling club.

Pundits and critics alike choosing to ignore Juve's position of power in the Pogba saga should remember that they displayed the nous to lure the then youngster from Manchester five summers ago for mere compensation cash, a player they could now make a nine-figure profit from.

This is also the Juventus hierarchy that still saw the potential in a mid-30s Andrea Pirlo, plucked the aforementioned Vidal from the Bundesliga for a pittance and reportedly beat several Premier League clubs to the sensational Paulo Dybala.

A historic side, with five successive Scudetti stashed in an extensive trophy cabinet that also includes two past Champions League (or European Cup) triumphs, to at least compete if not rank alongside power spending Real and Man Utd.
So, in short, the Allegri family will face the Pogba problem with the same exceptional insight as many of their recent transfer dealings - and ask the age old question: Should they keep a star player? Or instead, snap suitors' hands off for a mega-money deal to boost the coffers and strengthen the entire squad?

Premier League raid could be on the cards

Having used savvy spending to replenish a strong core of homegrown heroes, Juventus have turned themselves into not only the dominant force in Italy yet again but also a credible Champions League competitor to make the Peninsula proud.

The Old Lady's last European Cup crown came in 1996, making it now a drought of over two decades since the Turin team lifted that coveted trophy aloft. After Inter Milan's 2010 success and AC Milan's historic feats in the competition, it appears as though the Champions League could become Juve's quest - a Holy Grail of sorts.

Manager Massimiliano Allegri, widely judged as a poor replacement for Antonio Conte at the time, managed to take the Piedmont outfit to within a match of a modern era success, but the blow from Barcelona was bitter.

See Pogba in action

Pogba, though still young, was not the star to win them the 2015 final, nor was he the protagonist to propel the northern Italians past the round of 16 last time out.

So, though the Frenchman is still far from his peak, there is a significant argument to be had that it could be worth sacrificing pride for the sake of strengthening the team from top to toe.

And, in a refreshing change of pace, wouldn't it be apt if the money from one of the supposed admirers Man Utd or Real resulted in a raid of England? With Italy so often plundered by the Premier League for its best and brightest.

So, what exactly could around €100m get Juventus this summer if Pogba was to be poached?

Top targets to Turin?

It is to be said that €100m probably wouldn't go that far these days, due to increases in TV revenue and the continuing inflation of the market.

Yet, Juve always manage to wheel and deal for good value, as shown by their timely and early swoop for now former Roma playmaker Miralem Pjanic, worth £25.4m.
So, that is a new string puller sorted, a star to orchestrate attacks in the potential absence of Pogba, with 23-year-old all-action Azzurri midfielder Stefano Sturaro an alternative option to operate box-to-box.

Another true game-changer is required for a shot at the Champions League though, a winner firmly in their prime. With James Rodriguez rumoured to be close to PSG and Isco seemingly set to remain at the Bernabeu, that leaves two top class options perennially linked with a Turin transfer: Bayern Munich schemer Mario Gotze and Arsenal's enigmatic Alexis Sanchez.
Allegri's tactics require someone with a style more flexible than out-of-favour Gotze, who really should move to a side where he can excel as a number 10 without being shuffled around.

While bonafide superstar Sanchez could cost half of the Pogba bounty. The Gunners would surely be stubborn rather than sell, but if reports are true and the Chile sensation is unhappy, it could be a prudent exchange for all parties.

Staying in the vein of added attacking spark, an extra striker may not go amiss to keep Mario Mandzukic and Dybala on their toes after Real snaffled back mercurial marksman Alvaro Morata. Shocking penalty scuffer Simone Zaza may also not with to return to Italy after his Euro 2016 miss, with West Ham United one of many clubs linked.

Into the potential void then, could there be space for Graziano Pelle? Surely a Champions League team would appeal more than a supposed switch to China, while Southampton should be happier to avoid selling to a direct rival such as Everton or Chelsea.

Pelle's top strikes

Having shown himself able to work alone up top, or as part of a pair, with intuitive link-up play, hard work and cool finishing - Pelle would be a perfect foil for Dybala, unlikely to command a huge fee and old enough not to be perturbed by a spot on the bench sometimes.

From attack to midfield, Chelsea shield Nemanja Matic is another name frequently mentioned in Old Lady transfer tattle. If the Serbian does not tickle Conte's fancy, his slower style and pinpoint passing could go down well in Serie A.
A composed anchorman to complement Sami Khedira when fit could be key to keeping possession in Europe and oddly low prices have been mentioned in relation to Matic moving abroad.

Finally, defence is one area that looks to require the least tinkering. Arguably boasting the best defensive depth on the continent, central areas are strong with tried and tested Azzurri teammates Giorgio Chiellini, Leonardo Bonucci and Andrea Barzagli not a trio to be broken up and Daniele Rugani as one for the next generation.

Full-back positions also look strong with Patrice Evra and Stephan Lichtsteiner to compete with Samba Boys Alex Sandro and Dani Alves.

Matteo Darmian of Man Utd's ability to cover on either defensive flank, as a wingback or even centre-half could be worth splashing the cash on though, as there is still talent to be tapped despite the Italian's recent stumbles.

Though, would these picks or others like them be worth offloading the potential of Pogba for? Only time would tell.
Holly Thackeray
Full-time content writer, English Lit grad and long-time Manchester United fan with an affection for Japan and the Azzurri. Also, if you like darts, I definitely belong to the Barney Army ;)

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