Juventus are looking to revamp their midfield in the summer with Sassuolo’s Davide Frattesi and Lecce captain Morten Hjulmand among their main targets. The Old Lady have a number of midfielders on the books at present, but the summer may present an opportunity for an overhaul in the centre of the pitch.
La Gazzetta dello Sport report that Juve’s ‘hunt’ for midfielders is about to begin, with the priorities being a tactical and muscular regista and a mezzala who can run box-to-box. The focus of their search is expected to be in Serie A as opposed to abroad, in the hopes of finding ‘bargains at low cost’ in terms of recruitment. The names under consideration are many, but in recent weeks the market men have been narrowing their focus on two very specific targets: Hjulmand and Frattesi.
With Juventus not expected to sign Leandro Paredes from PSG at the end of the season, the club will find themselves with a hole in their squad in the role of regista. Promising youngster Nicola Rovella could return from Monza, but with Allegri still on the bench, the idea of employing a more physical midfielder in the middle, in addition to Locatelli, will probably remain.
Hjulmand, in this sense, has shown at Lecce to have interesting qualities, also thanks to his 6’8″ height. Good at breaking up opponents’ patterns of play, tidy in setting up plays for his teammates, he’s quickly became the cornerstone of coach Marco Baroni’s midfield, so much so that he earned captain’s armband, despite being 23-years-old.
Gazzetta report how the youngster is one of the ‘secrets’ of the Salentini’s solidity in the centre of the pitch, In short, a player ‘à la Allegri’. Lecce’s president, Saverio Sticchi Damiani, recently announced that he turned down a €13 million bid from a Premier League club for the Dane in January. Ergo, it will be necessary to raise the bar in the summer, barring any creative formulas. The final price, however, will be around €20 million, however to compensate the expense, the players salary demands may be on the lower side: today Hjulmand earns around €175,000 per season (four-year contract with option for the fifth year, signed in January 2021) so it’d be unlikely he would expect a massive increase so soon.
Meanwhile, Frattesi earns €900,000 a season from Sassuolo after his contract was extended a year ago and the Emilian club are asking at least €30m for the midfielder. Juve are already trying to settle the deal and contacts between the parties are on going at present. Frattesi is seen as a good addition in the increasingly likely event that Adrien Rabiot chooses to leave Turin as a free agent in the summer.
As well as Rovella, Juve have two other players of their own on loan around Serie A at present, namely Filippo Ranocchia and Hans Nicolussi Caviglia. The former is, like Rovella, on loan at Monza and, after a good start, has recently been struggling a little to establish himself. The second arrived at Salernitana in January and had immediately found space with coach Davide Nicola. The change of coach, with Paulo Sousa on the bench, has upset the hierarchies in the Granata midfield and Nicolussi Caviglia has slipped out of the starting XI. All three midfielders will return to Juve in the summer, but are unlikely to be confirmed to remain. In fact, a departure on a permanent basis cannot be ruled out in the event that offers arrive at the Continassa.