It seems that the Old Lady will not be able to keep her doors closed this summer. Capello was the first casualty, and he was joined by Cannavaro and Emerson at Real Madrid less than 48 hours ago. But if Juventus thought that they could get through the next 6 weeks by ‘pricing out’ their stars from being sold, they are dead wrong.
Barcelona have emerged as front-runners to sign Thuram and Zambrotta. Thuram had already stated his intentions to sign for the Spanish champions and it would seem like Zambrotta’s desire for Milan has been trumped by the financial muscle of Barcelona. Both are expected to sign for Barcelona for a combined fee of 19 mil euros, and the transfer could be through by the end of this week or by next Monday.
Arsenal had been linked with Thuram but I doubt that the player ever wanted to go there. Zambrotta was being chased by Real Madrid and Chelsea, but what convinced Zambrotta to go for Barca over Madrid, I don’t know.
The Juventus garage sale is far from complete though – Trezeguet and Ibrahimovic are tipped to leave with Newcastle possibly interested in one of the two, while Liverpool could be interested as well considering that both clubs have been unable to pry Dirk Kuyt away from Feyenoord. Del Piero and Nedved have said that they would stay with the club, but whether they will actually stick around is a different story. Juventus will be in a financial meltdown for the next season (and it will get worse if they don’t return to Seria A after that) and they need all the money they can get.
It would be interesting to see who Juve buy to replace the players being sold off. Don’t forget that Buffon is another player tipped to leave, and he could move to Milan, Arsenal or even Barcelona (if he does go to Barcelona that would trump Cannavaro as the move of the summer).
At least there’s a bright side – Juventus may very will emerge from this debacle with 50-70 mil euros in their pockets – enough money to buy the passage back into Serie A?