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Juventus Reject ECA Overtures, Lines Up Spanish Midfielder For January Transfer

Written By Onyeka Daniel

Italian side, Juventus are not interested in rejoining the European Club Association (ECA), the club said on Thursday, releasing a statement to that effect, after ECA chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi opened the door for their return.

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Al-Khelaifi said on Thursday that the ECA would welcome Juventus back after the club signaled they will pull out of the European Super League project. The ECA represents more than 440 clubs across the continent, although it is dominated by the big teams, including nine of the 12 initially involved in the planned breakaway Super League.

Juventus, however, said they were not looking to rejoin. “Juventus FC is not assessing the possibility to rejoin ECA at the moment,” the club’s press office said. Juve, who along with Real Madrid and Barcelona have not rejoined the ECA after their exclusion in 2021, said in July they had initiated the procedure to pull out of the Super League project.

“If they stop what they are trying to fight for, which I think is a stupid project, they are always most welcome,” Al-Khelaifi told reporters after an ECA board meeting in Copenhagen on Thursday. “I spoke to the owner and, you know, he called me and I think they want to be back. They are definitely most welcome,” Al-Khelaifi said.


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Al-Khelaifi, who is also president of French champions Paris Saint-Germain, took over as ECA chairman when former Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli, who had supported the idea of a European Super League, stepped down in 2021. Agnelli and the Juve board resigned in November last year.

And away from the issue of management, the Bianconeri are still on the look out for a midfielder that they can sign during the January transfer window and may have cast their gaze towards the Spanish Laliga. With Paul Pogba and Nicolo Fagiolo suspended, there is the need for at least one midfield signing if they’re to continue to challenge for the Serie A title this season.

Valencia are well renowned for promising exciting young talent, and Ruben Baraja’s current squad is full of them. The brightest at the moment is Javi Guerra – the 20-year-old is regarded as one of the most promising Spanish midfielders around. It’s not only Valencia that appreciate Guerra’s quality.

Juventus are keen on him, and reports have it that the Italian giants are preparing to make a significant offer, believed to be worth in the region of €25m. Valencia are in no rush to sell Guerra, who has a €100m release clause. They would reject this offer, although the report states that they could to be willing to accept an offer of €40m and above.

Guerra would be a big loss for Valencia, if they were to sell him. He is their star midfielder, and he has developed an excellent partnership with Pepelu. It’s no surprise that Los Che are performing their best in recent years when Guerra is regularly in the side.

Meanwhile…

Italian Sport journalist, Alessandro Barbano believes the request for a four-year ban for Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba is not justified and would be like a ‘lifetime suspension’ for the French midfielder. The Italian anti-doping prosecutor has requested a four-year ban for Pogba who failed a doping test in August 2023, following a Juventus’ win over Udinese, a game he entirely spent on the bench.

Tests found DHEA in Pogba’s body, which can raise the level of testosterone. The former Manchester United midfielder has been suspended by Juventus and hasn’t trained with the rest of the team for several months. Pogba, 30, returned to the Allianz Stadium as a free agent in 2022 but has been struggling with injuries in his second spell in Turin making just eight appearances with the Serie A giants before failing a doping test in Udinese this past August.

Read Also: Italian Serie A Match Review, Round 15 (2023/24): Juventus VS Napoli

Given the circumstances, Il Corriere dello Sport journalist Barbano believes the request from the anti-doping prosecutor is out of proportion. “A four-year ban for an athlete who is 30 would be like a lifetime suspension. That was the request made by the anti-doping commission,” Barbano wrote in Friday’s printed edition of the newspaper on page nine.

“Did Pogba do it to improve the quantity and quality of his performance in a game? Not at all. The Juventus champion took an integrator while in the middle of a long and troubled recovery. Whether he took it consciously or not, it didn’t influence his performance nor condition the result of a competition. “A four-year ban would be justified if he had consciously taken banned substances to alter the result of a competition,” the journalist continued.

“It’s absurd if it refers to a behaviour that has nothing to do with a tournament and is linked to an injury. It’s incredible that the code of sports conduct does not consider such a huge difference.” Pogba signed a four-year contract at Juventus in 2022, so his current deal runs out in June 2026, but the Serie A giants could terminate the agreement if the Frenchman is found guilty and is handed a lengthy ban.

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