Juventus are considering swapping striker Simone Zaza in order to persuade Chelsea to let go of midfielder Nemanja Matic, according to Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport.
— footballitalia (@footballitalia) August 9, 2016
Juventus are desperate to seal a deal for the Serbian, after the world-record sale of Paul Pogba to Manchester United.
The departure of Pogba leaves the Serie A champions with a gaping hole in the No. 6 role, as the start of the season draws closer. Claudio Marchisio, Sami Khedira and Stefano Sturaro could all potentially miss the start of Juve’s title defense, which leaves them sweating over the lack of players who could fill the role in their absence.
Juventus have had a good transfer window, recruiting central midfielder Miralem Pjanić from Italian side Roma, but they remain in desperate need of a defensive midfielder.
They see Matic as the perfect replacement for Pogba, but Conte is unwilling to sell the 28-year-old. The Serbian is also reportedly keen on a switch to the Bianconeri to help them in their quest for a Champions League title. Matic’s current club Chelsea missed out on the Champions League after a torrid Premier League campaign saw them finish a woeful 10th in the table.
German side Wolfsburg are also reportedly interested in Italian striker Zaza, for whom they offered Juventus £25 million and a four-year contract worth £4.5 million.
Zaza, however, is not keen on playing in the Bundesliga, and would much rather stay in the Serie A.
The Scudetto champions are also keeping tabs on Wolfsburg midfielder Luiz Gustavo. The club were initially considering a loan deal for the Brazilian, but might be forced into offering a permanent deal, following Serie A side Inter Milan’s declaration of interest.
Should Juventus agree a deal to bring Matic to Turin, it could see Zaza reunite with Antonio Conte, who coached Zaza as Italy manager in the recently concluded Euro 2016.