A single distinct trophy is missing from Gianluigi Buffon’s bulging cabinet. The all-time wonderful has scaled tremendous heights in his profession, but has in no way lifted Ol’ Huge Ears. Buffon says winning the Champions League just isn’t an cheap fifa coins obsession, rather “a beautiful adventure that fills me with enthusiasm every year,’but winning the competition before he retires would offer a perfect ending.Juventus teammates Stephan Lichtsteiner and Paulo Dybala said recently there is still regret about last term’s elimination at the hands of Bayern Munich.
They have declared Europe a target for 2016-17. Massimiliano Allegri won’t rule out his team going all the way. Fresh from winning their fifth consecutive Scudetto, Juve are laying down the platform for next season. Scudetto No 6 is the primary ambition. But they are casting a glancing eye towards the continent.The expected signing of Dani Alves can push Juve a little closer to that goal. The Brazilian, currently competing at the Copa America Centenario, has declared he will leave Barcelona this summer. His destination is most likely Turin. Nothing has yet been confirmed.“Alves has decided to leave us,’Barcelona sporting director Robert Fernandez said last week.
“Dani is fantastic but he’s leaving because of his own decision and we have got to respect fifa ultimate team coins that.”A clause in his contract allowed Alves to leave for free before June 5 and so it is believed to be another astute Giuseppe Marotta bargain. Nobody has sniffed them out like the Juve director general in recent years. In the vein of Andrea Pirlo, Paul Pogba and last season Sami Khedira, the Turin giants can strengthen their already-formidable squad at little or no cost.In doing so, they will be signing one particular of football’s premier full-backs. In helping Barcelona to victory over Juventus 12 months ago in the Champions League Final, Alves claimed his third continental crown since moving to the club in 2008. That’s only the tip of the iceberg in almost 400 appearances for the Spanish giants.The 33-year-old made 24 Liga starts last campaign – as many as Patrice Evra for the Bianconeri – but it’s what he can bring in Champions League which excites Juve most of all. He has done it all in the competition and will bring to Vinovo that winning nous. In a competition which is decided by small details, that’s important. So too is his output. In 80 Champions League matches for Barcelona, Alves has 20 assists to his name.The Brazilian cannot be pigeonholed into a position. But he is a perfect fit for a Juventus side which alternates between a 3-5-2 system and a four-man defence. Alves can motor up and down the right flank. He did it for years at Camp Nou.
With Juan Cuadrado’s loan deal up and Antonio Conte – a known admirer – taking over at Chelsea, the Colombian’s return to Stamford Bridge appears imminent. It’s a position Juventus must fill. Lichtsteiner needs a partner. Alves is the more attack-minded of the pair and this creates options for Allegri. It mirrors the opposite side with Evra – who has signed on for an extra season with the option to continue until 2018 – and Alex Sandro.For his part, Alves says he is after a new challenge. “Barca is an incredible club, but there I was in too comfortable a position,’Alves said earlier this week. “I’m a person that when they feel comfortable, it means that something is going wrong.”Helping Juventus progress in Europe can be that next challenge. Juventus are doing their utmost to ensure Allegri has a squad worthy of competing with Europe’s heaviest hitters.
It’s going to be a busy summer for the Bianconeri, who are looking for important players to compliment their squad, rather than last year’s rebuilding effort. Signing Alves is a short-term move which makes sense given their goals.Barcelona have poured cold water over speculation Javier Mascherano could also move to Turin. And while Juve may be priced out of Valencia’s Andre Gomes, news on Wednesday broke that Miralem Pjanic is set to move north. The Roma midfielder would help cover the initial loss of Claudio Marchisio and bolster a fearsome midfield with the creative talent Allegri has craved. Alvaro Morata’s future is still to be decided, while Domenico Berardi is heavily linked with the champions.Alves’ signing could be a single of an ambitious transfer period for the Bianconeri, which can help spark Juve dreams next season.