More linked players to Juve.Champions Juventus broke AC Milan’s record of 42 matches unbeaten and finished the league season undefeated with a 3-1 win over Atalanta. It was also the perfect send-off after 19 years with the Old Lady for club captain Alessandro Del Piero, who took the armband for the final time in a Serie A game in Juve’s colours and netted his team’s second goal.
Youngster Luca Marrone scored the opener and Andrea Barzagli netted a last-minute penalty as Juve finished the season with 84 points, four clear of last year’s champions Milan. The only blips were a late own goal from Stephan Lichsteiner and an injury to centre-back Giorgio Chiellini that could put his Euro 2012 participation at risk. The victory meant Juve took their unbeaten run in all competitions to 43 games, including the final match of last season, a record for an Italian team. They also produced the first unbeaten Serie A campaign since Milan in 1992, and the first since Italy moved from an 18 to a 20-team league. â€œThe aim was to remain unbeaten and to celebrate with our own fans,â€ said coach Antonio Conte. â€œWe managed that and that had never happened in a 20-team league. This is a legendary season because in the future no-one will ever be able to beat what we’ve done, only equal it.
â€œNo-one ever gave us anything and that’s reason for great pride. â€œDel Piero played like a champion once again but I told him the season isn’t over because he must been decisive again on Sunday in the Italian Cup final against Napoli.â€ If they avoid defeat in next weekend’s final they will become the first team to go an entire season unbeaten in league and cup, although they were helped by not playing in Europe. Their clash with Atalanta was little more than a glorified friendly. The game descended into near farce in the second period when Conte decided to substitute Del Piero so he could receive a rapturous ovation from the fans. He got that but the sight of a league match being held up for at least a couple of minutes to affect a substitution while all his team-mates joined him in the centre-circle to salute him seemed like a scene from a testimonial match. With the game ongoing, he then embarked on a lap of honour to salute the fans.
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Juventus will launch an Â£8m bid for Tottenham’s Benoit Assou-ekotto should Spurs miss out on next season’s Champions League.
Harry Redknapp’s side finished fourth in the Premier League and, in normal seasons, that would mean them being entered into the qualifiers for Europe’s top competition. But if Chelsea beat Bayern Munich on Saturday night to claim the trophy, the north Londoners will be denied their place. And Italian TV station Sky Calcio 24 claim that if that happens Juve will try to tempt Assou-Ekotto to Turin. The Cameroon international has become one of the most highly-rated left-backs in the Premier League after another consistent season at White Hart Lane. Juventus, who finished four points clear of AC Milan in this season’s Serie A, have been linked with the 28-year-old all year. And they think they could persuade him to leave Tottenham if they can offer him Champions League football next season.
Juventus have discussed contract terms with the agent of Arsenalâ€™s Robin Van Persie, reports La Stampa. According to the publication, the playerâ€™s representative flew into Turin on Friday and left on Saturday morning.
In between flights, he allegedly spoke with the Old Lady where a four-year contract worth â‚¬7.5m a season was discussed. Nevertheless, a summer move to the Italian champions may still not be on the horizon for the Dutch international.
Van Persie will now hold talks with Arsenal over a new contract that is currently set to expire in June 2013. if no agreement is reached, then Juventus will still have to negotiate a fee with the London club for the forward. La Stampa is suggesting that Arsenal will want around â‚¬25m for the player who would also be of interest to the likes of Manchester City. Juventus are searching for a couple of top players to boost their hopes of challenging for the Champions League next season.
Marco Verrattiâ€™s agent confirms â€œdaily talksâ€ with Juventus, but insists thereâ€™s no deal yet for the 19-year-old surprise Italy starlet. The Pescara creative midfielder is nicknamed the â€˜new Andrea Pirloâ€™ and was an unexpected addition to Cesare Prandelliâ€™s Euro 2012 long list. â€œMarco is doing great things,â€ agent Donato Di Campli told Radio Radio this evening.
â€œPrandelliâ€™s call was a very welcome surprise, but also a pleasure for all those who are close to the player. â€œJuventus are tracking him and the player appreciates the club, which is just as important as Pescaraâ€™s wishes. â€œItâ€™s not just Juventus who are interested in Verratti, but the Bianconeri are the ones who at the moment are making the most important steps. â€œThere is no agreement with Juve and there are no signatures, even if there are daily talks with Juventus. â€œAs for Roma, nobody has spoken to me and I donâ€™t think theyâ€™ve talked to Pescara either. After the call from Italy, his price-tag is up in the air. In any case, thatâ€™s down to the club rather than me.â€
Juventus not giving up on Cavani.
The Turin side are desperate to add the Uruguay international to their attacking rank this summer, and are ready to include a number of players to facilitate a transfer
Napoli striker Edinson Cavani remains Juventus’ top priority for the summer transfer window as the Old Lady are willing to include several players in a part-exchange deal. The Bianconeri are determined to add a high-profile name to their attack ahead of the 2012-13 campaign and, although they are also keeping an eye on Arsenal’s Robin van Persie and Chelsea’s Fernando Torres, coach Antonio Conte has set his sights on luring Cavani to Turin. The Uruguay international has been a key figure for Napoli, netting 32 goals in 46 competitive appearances this season and helping the side to the Champions League last 16 and a fifth-place finish in Serie A.
His displays have sparked the interest of Juventus, who are desperate to sign the 25-year-old and are willing to include Paolo De Ceglie, Sebastian Giovinco and/or Alessandro Matri in the deal. Napoli are believed to be closely monitoring the situation of De Ceglie, and Juve could opt to send the left-back to the Partenopei in an attempt to get the star striker. Furthermore Giovinco, who is co-owned by Parma and Juventus, is another player who has caught the attention of the Naples outfit, and the Bianconeri are ready to part company with their 50 per cent share of the attacker’s rights to facilitate Cavani’s transfer. Meanwhile, 27-year-old Matri has been unable to fully convince Juve of his qualities and the club are ready to let go of the attacker this summer, despite topscoring in their Scudetto triumph with 10 goals.