Juventus have reportedly rekindled their interest in Sassuolo stalwart Domenico Berardi amid difficulties in their quest to sign Chelsea outcast Romelu Lukaku.
Dusan Vlahovic’s reluctance to leave the Allianz Stadium under any circumstances has curtailed the Italians’ bid to pull off a like-for-like swap deal with the Blues.
Juve had hoped to persuade Chelsea to let Lukaku move back to Serie A by offering Vlahovic in exchange before Tottenham Hotspur hijacked their stalled talks with the Stamford Bridge outfit.
Unfazed by the Belgian’s struggle in London, Spurs have opened negotiations with Chelsea in a last-ditch attempt to replace Harry Kane, who left the club for Bayern Munich.
According to TuttoMercatoWeb, Tottenham’s genuine effort to price Juventus out of a move for Lukaku has brought Berardi back on the Bianconeri’s radar.
The 29-year-old winger is familiar with the surroundings, having been under contract in Turin for two years between 2013 and 2015 despite not making a single senior appearance.
While things didn’t work out for the Italy international at Juventus, he has grown to become one of the leading figures in Serie A at Sassuolo.
Berardi has been with the Neroverdi since their top-flight promotion in 2013, returning to his boyhood club initially on loan before earning a permanent deal in 2015.
His superb form has gone a long way in establishing Sassuolo as a permanent fixture in Serie A, with the left-footed forward racking up 113 goals and 80 assists across 297 league appearances.
Given Berardi’s significance to the team on and off the field, head coach Alessio Dionisi would ideally have him stay next term, but Juventus have other ideas.
Contracted with the Neroverdi until 2027, the Italian is available at roughly €30 million, a price Allegri’s side cannot afford due to the club’s poor financial state.
AC Milan and Lazio failed to overcome the same roadblock earlier in the summer, but the record-time Italian champions have devised a strategy to soften Sassuolo’s stance.
Juventus would offer Samuel Iling-Junior or Matias Soule as a makeweight in a deal to drive the price down.
It’s uncertain how Sassuolo would react to such a proposal.
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