Other players linked, Elia allowed to talk to others.Nani on Juventus’ hit-list as winger eyes Man United exit.
Juventus continue to track Manchester United winger Nani as they pay close attention to his contract stand-off at the club. The Italian giants, who won the Serie A title after going the season unbeaten, are ready to re-establish themselves as one of the major forces in European football. Moves for Robin Van Persie and Luis Suarez have been mooted and another Premier League star, United’s Nani, remains on their radar. Nani has a contract at United until 2014 and there have been negotiations regarding a new deal to incorporate a pay-rise, believed to be worth around Â£130,000-a-week.
But Nani has hinted he could yet leave United, while also claiming there are viable alternatives to playing in England or Spain. Juventus coach Antonio Conte is watching the situation unfold and will make his move this summer if it appears that Nani fancies a move away from United. With a contract that still has two years to run, United are in a strong position when it comes to dealing with interest in Nani. The club want to keep the Portugal international but will demand at least Â£25m as an opening bid if Juventus are to make their interest known to them.
————- ————– ————-
Eljero Elia is on the lookout for a new club after Juventus granted him permission to leave if a suitable offer is received. The Netherlands international moved to Italy from Hamburg on a four-year deal ahead of the 2011/12 campaign.
But he failed to secure a regular first-team place as Juve clinched their 28th Serie A title last term, missing out on selection for the Netherlands Euro 2012 squad as a consequence. Juve had previously stressed they were keen to hold on to the 25-year-old. However, a close season move now seems inevitable, with the club refusing to stand in his way. “Juventus have already told me that I’ll be allowed to leave,” Elia told Eredivisie Live. “I just want to enjoy playing football again. My agent is taking care of it, and he’ll get in touch once an offer from a club is concrete.” Elia, who has previously been linked with English Premier League club Arsenal, made only four Serie A appearances for Juve last season.
———— ————- ————–
Juventus New Signing Mauricio Isla â€“ Under The Microscope Juventus completed their third transfer of the season by luring Udinese wide-man Mauricio Isla. The versatile Chilean will add a new dimension to Conteâ€™s team.
After spending nine years of his youth career in Universidad CatÃ³lica, Mauricio Islaâ€™s strong performances in 2007 U20 World Cup attracted the attention of talent scouts world-wide as he eventually sealed a move to Udinese. The Chilean made his debut for the Bianconeri on December 19, 2007 against Palermo. He cemented his position in the starting line-up in 2008/09 season as Udinese reached Europa League quarter-final. Isla played 32 times for Udinese in Serie A and was a regular starter in their EL campaign. Isla opened his goal account with Udinese in 2009/10 season, against Sampdoria. However, the season was a failed one for the Friuli side, as they finished 15th despite Isla raking up a personal highest of 8 assists.
Last season, he was one of the most vital players for Udinese as they waltzed to the top of the table in second half of the season. With two goals and seven assists, Isla cemented his position as one of the best wide-men in the peninsula. Isla made a strong impact in 2011/12 season as well but his season ended in February, after an injury against Milan. Udineseâ€™s season imploded after his injury as they almost missed out on third spot which once seemed assured.
Isla was a regular in most of the under-age teams for Chile and he first grabbed attention by his regular starts during Chileâ€™s campaign in 2005 U17 South American Championships. Isla was a star for Chile in U20 World Cup in 2007, when they clinched the third spot. He played a total of 585 minutes for his country, setting up his future Juventus team mate Arturo Vidalâ€™s match winner against Portugal in pre quarter-final. In quarter-final, he was established as one of the hottest prospects in the world. The match against Nigeria finished 0-0 in 90 minutes but Chile mowed down the Africans in extra-time, scoring four times. Isla himself notched up two of those four goals. Eventual winners and an Argentine team containing Sergio Aguero, Mauro Zarate and Angel di Maria proved too strong for Chile in semi-final. However, Chile did finish third even though Isla had to leave the field against Austria in the 3rd place match with a concussion after the hour mark.
Isla became a regular in Chile national team during Marcelo Bielsaâ€™s reign as the South Americans played an exciting brand of football, finishing second in CONMEBOL zone. He was a starter during Chileâ€™s 2010 World Cup qualifiers and started every game as they went out in pre-quarter final of World Cup.
Isla brings variety to the table. Like Martin Caceres, the Chilean can also play in a number of different positions â€“ right winger, right wing-back, right-back, left-back or a central midfielder. His transfer also means that the 3-5-2 formation is here to stay. Stephan Lichtsteiner never looked comfortable in that formation while Caceres was inconsistent. Isla, on the other hand, has already excelled in a similar position in Udinese and can slot in seamlessly. Last season, there were times when Juventus looked like they could use some width and Isla with his pace and craft can provide that. He would need to improve his crossing as currently he has a rather poor statistic of delivering 17 successful crosses out of 72 attempted last season. With national teammate Arturo Vidal already in the squad, he will have no problem in settling down either.
Conteâ€™s Juventus has often faced some criticism for being too â€œnarrowâ€ and over-relying on central midfielders for attacking thrust. Milos Krasic and Eljero Elia, arguably the fastest and most crafty wingers in the squad were both frozen out because of their lack of defensive work-rate. The players preferred by Conte â€“ Giaccherini, Estigarribia and Pepe were all hard workers and lent balance to the side but they lacked intelligence to make things happen on their own. Isla, on the other hand, has shown time and again that he can act as a game changer when the situation demands. He is also a hard worker so fitting into Conteâ€™s system will not be a problem.
Mauricio Isla, while not being a high priority requirement, is a quality player and will allow Conte to switch between a 4-3-3 and 3-5-2 more efficiently. Like Asamoah, he just turned 24 and already has 122 Serie A matches under his belt. Only worry regarding him is if the last injury he suffered with Udinese will affect his playing style or not. If it doesnâ€™t, then Juventus are all set on the right wing, for at least 3-4 years to come. With these two signings Juventus now have one of the best, if not the best midfield in Serie A, with enough depth.