La Gazzetta dello Sport have released their predicted starting eleven for Juventus next season - featuring a heavy Manchester United influence and no Arturo Vidal.
Juventus are set to have an interesting summer on the transfer market, having confirmed that head coach Antonio Conte will stay on for next season.
The Bianconeri dominated Serie A in record-breaking fashion to pick up a third straight Scudetto in 2013-14, but once again came up short in Europe.
Conte’s charges crashed out of the Champions League in the group stage and fell to Benfica in the Europa League semi-finals after looking heavy favourites to win the competition.
The Italian tactician’s preferred 3-5-2 formation is commonly pointed to as a hindrance to Juventus’ progress in continental play, and it’s been widely suggested a shift to the 4-3-3 is in the works.
According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, the Old Lady will indeed field four at the back next term. The newspaper predicted Juventus’ new-look line-up this week, with a few intriguing inclusions and omissions.
Gianluigi Buffon is in goal as expected, whilst the versatile Stephan Lichtsteiner moves to right-back and Andrea Barzagli and Giorgio Chiellini parter in central defence, leaving Leonardo Bonucci the odd man out.
At left-back is Manchester United’s out-of-contract Patrice Evra. The Frenchman has been strongly linked with a Bosman move to Turin this summer, and is reportedly close to signing a two-year deal.
Claudio Marchisio, Andrea Pirlo and ex-Red Devil Paul Pogba make up the midfield trio, with Arturo Vidal noticeably missing. It’s been suggested that either the Chilean, of interest to United, or Paul Pogba will be sacrificed to raise funds - and La Gazzetta seem to think it’s Vidal.
The trident attack is comprised of out-of-favour United winger Nani, one-time Old Trafford favourite Carlos Tevez and Barcelona wide man Alexis Sanchez - who is said to be Juventus’ top target this summer.
United influence is written all over this starting eleven, and by La Gazzetta’s assessment Juventus’ dealings will put a huge emphasis on Champions League experience and accommodate a 4-3-3 set-up.
If Vidal is allowed to leave there will be no shortage of top suitors for his services, and Louis van Gaal could inherit the opportunity to move for the dynamic midfielder.
Of course, nothing is yet concrete and Juventus’ course of action remains to be seen, but the Italian giants and United could foreseeably do a bit of business together this summer.