No Di Maria, no problem: Domenico Berardi could step up for Juventus

FT Desk
FT Desk
  • Updated: 8 Jun 2022 11:52 BST
  • 3 min read
Domenico Berardi in action for Sassuolo
© ProShots

Barcelona look set to hijack Juventus's bid for Angel Di Maria and Paulo Dybala is leaving on a free. Should the Old Lady take another look at Domenico Berardi?

The record Italian champions with 36 league titles to their name, Juve's decade of dominance came to an end in 2021 when Inter took the Serie A title, and they suffered their second consecutive fourth-placed finish last term as AC Milan became champions.

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A need for a kickstart at Juventus Stadium is obvious, and Massimiliano Allegri and Co. had lined up Angel Di Maria as their attacking shot in the arm with the Argentine wing wizard leaving Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer this summer.

But late interest from Barcelona threatens to scupper any deal for the former Real Madrid man, and Juve could look closer to home for attacking reinforcements with Berardi moving to the top of their shopping list.

Meanwhile, Dybala has been heavily linked with a free transfer of his own, with Inter favourites to acquire the attacker who contributed 10 goals and five assists to Juve's cause last term.

Why Berardi?

Berardi was on Juventus's books between 2013 and 2015 but never made an appearance before returning to first club Sassuolo, initially on loan.

Since then he has racked up 109 goals and 78 assists in 286 games with the Neroverdi, and become a mainstay of the Italy national team, with whom he won the UEFA European Championship in 2020.

Berardi's contract runs until the summer of 2024, so Juventus, who bought him for €6 million in 2013, will have to stump up significantly more this time around.

A left-footed winger who prefers to line up on the right, Berardi would have Federico Bernardeschi for competition in Turin, but Allegri could easily find a way to integrate both.

The path to first-team minutes in the final third behind a main striker like Alvaro Morata or Dusan Vlahovic is further cleared with Dejan Kulusevski looking increasingly likely to make his loan move to Tottenham Hotspur permanent.

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