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  • Daniele Proch

Juventus Try To Close Deal On Federico Chiesa As Transfer Window Approaches Deadline

Updated: Nov 5, 2020

~ Original article here!

Federico Chiesa, the talented 22-year-old Italian winger who currently plays for Serie A side Fiorentina, is very close to joining Juventus, according to a recent report by Il Corriere Della Sera. The Italian publication wrote that tonight’s Serie A match between Fiorentina and Sampdoria will see Chiesa wearing the purple jersey for one last time.

Chiesa has reportedly agreed on the personal terms with Juventus. For him, Eurosport reports, the Bianconeri have prepared a five-year contract with a net wage of €4.5 million a year plus bonuses. Juventus and Fiorentina, however, have not yet found common ground on the transfer fee.

Since Juventus are not willing to match the €60-million price tag that Fiorentina put on the young winger for a permanent transfer, the Viola have recently been willing to discuss loan options. One solution for Juventus could be to pay Fiorentina €10 million immediately as a loan fee to have Chiesa join their roster for the 2020/2021 Serie A season, with the obligation to buy out the player for €60 million at the end of the year if he satisfies certain performance-based benchmarks.

Juventus are trying to lower the buyout terms from €60 million to €50 million. To achieve it, they can leverage the fact that Chiesa, whose contract with Fiorentina expires in June 2022, has openly refused to prolong his stay in Florence. Fiorentina’s owner, Rocco Commisso, may agree on lowering Chiesa’s buy-out price now rather than having to undersell him next year, when he will be just one year shy of becoming a free agent.

While Fiorentina specify that “nothing is yet concrete or official” about the deal, Juventus have to solve internal issues, as they are currently struggling to make room for new players on their roster. Juventus did not respond to a request for comment.

Why Juventus Struggle To Sell Their Players

Juventus have been desperately trying to sell some of their players to reduce the size of their players’ wages. According to a Eurosport analysis from last March, Juventus are the undisputed Serie A leader in wages, averaging €11.3 million per player (gross). This figure puts them well ahead of the second-highest Italian club in this list, Roma, who average €5.9 million per player in gross wages.

By granting such high salaries to their players, Juventus face problems when it comes to selling them. This is true not only because players are unwilling to move to a team that offers a lower salary, but especially because there are very few teams in the European football landscape who can afford matching the kinds of salaries that Juventus allocate to their players. 

The Deloitte Football Money League 2020 report, an annual account on the football clubs’ revenues, shows that there is a very wide gap in financial resources between the top European clubs and the rest of the clubs. As Turin-based newspaper Tuttosport noted, Juventus, who rank 10th in this list, are one of the few elite clubs with an annual revenue higher than €450 million.

This makes it easy for Juventus, and the other clubs in this inner circle, to lure players into signing large contracts, but it complicates negotiations when it comes to convincing them to leave. Players may agree to move to another club within this shortlist, where they will be able to count on receiving similar wages. However, they are usually reluctant to join a team outside of this elite group, as they will likely have to take salary cuts if they were to sign with them.

That is likely the reason why at Juventus, players like Mattia De Sciglio, Daniele Rugani, Douglas Costa, and Sami Khedira have not yet moved on despite having long been on the Bianconeri’s transfer list. What is more, because Juventus closed the 2019/2020 year with a €71.4-million loss, the need to sell players has become of primary importance (the financial hardships caused by the pandemic have also aggravated these issues).

According to Transfermarkt, in this transfer window Juventus acquired Álvaro Morata, Arthur Melo, and Weston McKennie, sold Miralem Pjanić and Emre Can, and agreed with Gonzalo Higuaín to mutually terminate his onerous contract of €7.5 million per year (net). The Bianconeri are currently on a positive transfer record of €5 million, which is expected to go negative if the Chiesa deal is finalized. 

The Serie A transfer window, which opened on Sept. 1, will close this Monday, Oct. 5 at 2 p.m. EST.

Chiesa’s Role In Andrea Pirlo’s Formation

A creative winger who can also be employed as a second-forward, Chiesa is used to playing in a system with a three-man defensive line. At Fiorentina, under manager Giuseppe Iachini, he has featured either on the wing or as one of the front two strikers in the Viola’s 3-5-2 line-up.

Chiesa’s explosiveness, fast pace, and technical skills make him an offensive threat in the final third, especially when he has the opportunity to engage the opponent’s defenders in one-versus-one situations. He is often successful in his dribbling attempts, which allow him to carve out space for a shot on goal or a service to his teammates. Last Serie A season, he was a crucial player for Fiorentina, as he scored 10 goals and recorded six assists in 34 appearances.

To those offensive qualities, Chiesa adds a strong desire to work hard and contribute to his team’s defensive efforts, a part of his game that sets him aside from most attacking-minded players.

If he joins Juventus, Chiesa will already have a good understanding of the movements that Andrea Pirlo’s 3-4-1-2 formation demands to the wingers. Thanks to his versatility and confidence with his weaker left foot, Chiesa can be expected to feature on either flank as well as one of the front two players in the rotation with Cristiano Ronaldo, Paulo Dybala, Dejan Kulusevski, and Morata.

Chiesa will be a precious addition to a Juventus side that is expecting to succeed in all three competitions, Serie A, Coppa Italia, and, especially, Champions League. The European tournament, which saw Juventus being drawn in Group G with Barcelona, Dynamo Kiev, and Ferencvaros, will kick off on Oct. 20.

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