AC Milan and Juventus to Duel for Argentine World Cup Star

AC Milan and Juventus to Duel for Argentine World Cup Star

AC Milan vs Atletico Madrid
Wikimedia: Robin Bos

Paris Saint-Germain and Argentina star Ezequiel Lavezzi is set for a return to Serie A, with both AC Milan and Juventus competing for his signature, according to both La Gazzeta dello Sport and Tuttosport.  The 29-year-old winger has enjoyed a successful two-year stint with Les Parisiens, winning back to back Ligue 1 titles. However, the former Napoli man looks likely to return to Italy as PSG continue their pursuit of Lavezzi’s compatriot, Ángel Di María.

The transfer merry-go-round has spawned from the actions of Di María’s current club, Real Madrid. With their €80 million purchase of James Rodríguez, the imminent departure of Di María has alerted the free-spending Parisians. As a result of the implementation of Financial Fair Play, Lavezzi may well be forced out of the club to make room for the man who helped guide Los Merengues to their tenth European Cup earlier this year. 

Despite heavy interest from Liverpool, it appears that Serie A will be Lavezzi’s destination, given his prior success in the country, with Juventus appearing to be more likely than Milan to persuade him. And with the potential sale of Arturo Vidal to Manchester United, the Bianconeri will likely have the cash to afford Lavezzi’s transfer fee in addition to an annual salary of €5 million – a fee that has been reportedly agreed between the club and Lavezzi’s entourage.

New Juventus manager, Massimiliano Allegri, has sought the Argentinian due to his positional versatility. Under old manager Antonio Conte, Juventus played a 3-5-2 formation. Allegri, however, prefers a 4-3-3. It remains to be seen which becomes the norm during his tenure with the Turin-based club, but having a forward who can be deployed in both systems will be a luxury.

Throughout the summer, Milan have also expressed interest in signing Lavezzi. The Rossoneri have been in the market for an attacking player, and were recently linked with Arsenal’s Joel Campbell. But with the Costa Rican looking likely to remain in North London, Filippo Inzaghi has returned to chasing Lavezzi in an attempt to improve from their disastrous 8th place finish last season.

Indeed, it may be the appeal of Champions League football that deters Lavezzi away from the San Siro in favor of Juventus. On top of being three-time defending Serie A champions, the Old Lady has the advantage of connections with PSG’s boardroom. Former Juventus CEO, Jean-Claude Blanc, now serves as PSG’s general manager and may prefer to do business with his old club. And while he has stated that Lavezzi was is for sale, it is clear that the World Cup finalist will likely make way if Di María is signed. Should Vidal remain in Turin, however, Lavezzi may find himself wearing red and black next season.