Juve prepares space for Kessie: Zakaria and McKennie are gone too


New contacts for the Ivorian from Barcelona: Giuntoli insists on the loan but first has to sell the released midfielders. Goodbye Arthur, forward with West Ham for the Swiss. For the US Premier or Türkiye Joker

Philip Cornacchia


One, two, three… Kessie. Lady’s run to Barcelona midfielder is like a joint game. Kind of a three (Arthur, Zakaria, McKennie) for one (Kessie). Technical manager Cristiano Giuntoli, coaches Giovanni Manna and Massimiliano Allegri have long identified the 26-year-old Ivorian as the ideal reinforcement for the midfielder. And the candidacy of the former AC Milan player, although the Catalans are only thinking about a final farewell for the time being, has emerged strengthened by the black and white reviews of the last few hours. For the “President”, who moved to Catalonia on a free transfer a year ago, this is a real referendum on a technical level. Allegri imagines the ex-AC Milan player alongside Manuel Locatelli and Adrien Rabiot. A mix of running, power, insertions and a sense of aim. So much so that Continassa seems to have no doubts. Provided you can sign the player on loan and give him a place in midfield through 3-4 transfers. After initial contacts with Barcelona and with Kessie’s entourage, courted by Arabia and at the moment also fascinated by England, Juventus have started preparing the ground for the final attack. The first piece of the puzzle put together by Giuntoli, Manna and Brazilian Federico Pastorello’s agent stuck with Arthur’s transfer to Fiorentina yesterday.

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The former Barcelona player, who returned to Turin from his ill-fated loan deal with Liverpool last season, landed in Florence last night and will undergo medical tests later in the day. Lending business with repayment rights to around 20 million plus bonuses. Pending a future check between a onerous loan, bonuses and the part of the salary paid by Fiorentina, Juventus will save between 5 and 6 million euros. A first step, anything but a matter of course. Suffice it to say that Arthur left Continassa on the last day of the market last summer. Having laid the groundwork for the Kessie operation, Giuntoli and Manna will now focus on the others. Starting with Denis Zakaria, who has been training with the “layoffs” since the start of the rally and will not be flying to the USA with Allegri and his companions during the day. The Swiss midfielder, who joined Vlahovic in January 2022 and was sent to Chelsea on loan within 6 months, could once again become a protagonist in the Premier League. Still in London but on the West Ham side. Contacts with the Hammers have been going on for weeks but on a slow fire in the search for a midfielder following Declan Rice’s maxi sale to Arsenal for £120m. Juventus want to collect 18 million from former Borussia Mönchengladbach and save over 3 million salary. West Ham’s lead isn’t the only one: Aston Villa and some German clubs have also received tips on Zakaria. Giuntoli is sticking to the formula, at least for the time being: transfer or loan with purchase obligation.

the other tiles

Today the Tuscan coach will accompany the team to the United States. But Giuntoli will not stay in America until August 2nd. He will return to Italy early. How soon will also depend on the negotiations. Of those for Zakaria and Weston McKennie, who were reinstated as a group for the US. The former Schalke 04 is a Texan and coach Berhalter’s national team is untouchable. However, this does not apply to Allegri. McKennie won’t be obsolete in the strict sense, but he’s staying in the market. Giuntoli and Manna plan to soon convert interest collected between England, Germany and Turkey over the past few weeks into a check for 25 million to complete the Kessie mystery.

Pogba, Arabian Expectation

A bit like all games, watch out for jokers. The main one is called Saudi Arabia and concerns Paul Pogba, the protagonist of the now famous blitz in Jeddah in recent weeks. The Frenchman has yet to train in a group but remains in the Saudis’ sights. Once the Octopus enters the field, the Prince and Sports Minister Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal will compensate with an offer of 30 million per season for the player. In this case, Continassa expects compensation of 10 million in addition to the savings of three contract years worth 8 million plus 2 bonuses. Fabio Miretti could at least free up a place in the squad. Yesterday Juve announced the midfielder’s contract extension until 2027. But the future of the Azzurrino remains in the balance. Salernitana is pushing for the loan and could get the green light on his return from the United States.

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