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Done deal? Juventus to sign one-time Liverpool target who cost €18 million

One-time Liverpool striker target Lacina Traore is heading for Juventus, according to an ex-Chelsea defender.

The Anzhi Machachkala meltdown happened at an opportune time for a number of clubs, with Chelsea profiting by signing both Willian and Samuel Eto'o, a double deal which would have been unthinkable even this time last month.

Another club to benefit was Dinamo Moscow, with the Russian club signing three players from Anzhi, including one they had sold to them just a month before.

Their manager, former Romanian international Dan Petrescu was quizzed on Wednesday regarding the possibility of signing a fourth, Ivory coast striker Lacina Traore.

23-year-old Traore is a giant at 6ft 8 and has bagged 35 goals in his past two seasons in Russian football. Anzhi paid €18 million to Kuban Krasnodar for his signature a year ago.

Back then he was touted as a transfer target for Liverpool, and even last November, SkySports reported Traore's agent as stating the Reds were still showing an interest in the frontman. Traore scored a winner against Liverpool in a 1-0 Europa League game for Anzhi subsequently.

With Anzhi's financial remodelling, there was tentative speculation that Liverpool could go back in for him, but given the form of Daniel Sturridge up front and the signing of another frontman in Iago Aspas, it was a bait which Brendan Rodgers did not take, focusing on an ultimately doomed pursuit of his teammate Willian instead.

Now it appears that another big European club are ready to move for him, and may even have agreed a deal if whispers are correct.

Dinamo Moscow coach Dan Petrescu told Russian newspaper Sport Express that he wouldn't be moving for him as Traore was already likely off to Serie A.

"I like him as a player, but we do not forget that we also have forwards Kokorin and Kuranyi. Moreover, according to those that have my information in January, Traoré will move to Juventus."

Juventus are less than enthused with new signing Fernando Llorente, who had a poor season at Athletic Bilbao last season. They are already said to have been making enquiries about bringing in a new striker for Carlos Tevez to play behind in January, and Traore could well be that man.

Should Liverpool have moved for Traore on the cheap this summer, or did they simply not need him? 

image: © eamoncurry

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