Serie A reigning champions Juventus are eager to offload star player Miralem Pjanic as part of a player-plus-cash deal for a new midfielder this summer and it seems that London is his next destination with a swap deal for Chelsea’s Jorginho. The Italian side are coming to terms with the financial implications of the coronavirus crisis and aren’t expected to go all out in the transfer market. Instead, they will be relying on swap deals this summer.
Discussions have already been held about the Bosnian joining Barcelona or Paris St-Germain. But the 30-year-old could have ended up in Spain in a potential swap deal involving Arthur, however, the Brazilian wasn’t keen on moving to Italy. On the other hand, in Paris, The PSG sporting director, Leonardo, is a huge admirer of the midfielder playmaker.
Following Arthur’s decision to remain at Barcelona meant that Juventus stepped up negotiations with Chelsea to see if Frank Lampard is considering letting his vice-captain move back to Italy. The Italian international joined the Blues along with his former Napoli boss in 2018. He suffered a difficult first season at Stamford Bridge, but since then, he has been a revelation in Lampard’s first season at Chelsea and has become one of the club’s best performers.
Juventus have a long-standing interest in the midfielder all the way back during his time at Napoli, while Sarri remains a huge admirer of his former colleague where he has previously signed him on two occasions. Nevertheless, Jorginho has been a regular in Lampard’s side this season where he formed a formidable partnership alongside Matteo Kovacic in the base of midfield. But, Jorginho is 28 and this season Lampard has shown faith in youth which the club has in abundance. In Chelsea’s final Premier League match before the season was postponed because of the COVID-19, Jorginho was suspended and up stepped youngster Billy Gilmour. The young Scotsman shone in his absence against Everton and in the FA Cup against Liverpool.
Lampard knows how valuable Jorginho can be, but he has many midfielders who can fill the void if the club are willing to let the Italian move on. Pjanic and money wouldn’t be a bad return as the 30-year-old can be a useful addition for Lampard, and the extra funds (£20-30m) can be reinvested in positions that need strengthening.
It won’t just be Gilmour who will be fighting for a starting position when football does make its long-awaited return, Ruben Loftus-Cheek will be close to being fully fit following a long injury lay off that has seen him sidelined for the majority of the season. Not to mention N’Golo Kante, Kovacic, Mason Mount, Ross Barkley, and Pjanic… if the deal was to happen.
Pjanic the perfect midfield conductor… at 30?
Watching Pjanic play, at times, he is flawless in the middle. However, that is not always the case as sometimes he looks out of his depth if he is playing out of position, facing powerful opponents, or in a different philosophy.
The Bosnian has been regarded as one of the best creative midfielders in Europe. He is the conductor in how Juventus operate, similar to Jorginho’s style where he likes to get on the ball, dictate the tempo, and find the ideal pass to start the attack.
To clarify Pjanic in one sentence, ‘he is the pass before the assist’. In this role he excels and at Chelsea, it could be a clever acquisition by Lampard. He’d play the same role he does at Juventus, hopefully making the adjustments to his game so that he can match the physicality of the Premier League. The Blues have attacking talent but to be at their most effective they need the ball in the final third.
The likes of Mount and Loftus-Cheek dropping back in search of possession isn’t going to help Pjanic, as he will just be a passenger in the Chelsea XI. In terms of a deal happening, Jorginho is two years younger and has Premier League experience. But, Pjanic is a quality player there’s no doubt about it and he could be the lynchpin for this inexperienced but exciting side at Stamford Bridge.
At 30, his legs will be slowing down and from the intensity levels in Serie A. If Chelsea were to receive a Pjanic and a considerable fee for Jorginho, it could be a respected piece of business by both clubs. Chelsea would get a good player plus cash, and Maurizio Sarri gets to sign his compatriot for a third spell in which should kick start ‘Sarri-Ball’ at Juventus.