Juventus general manager Beppe Marotta has said James Rodriguez could be transfer target but ruled out making a second attempt to sign Julian Draxler.
Rodriguez, 25, said at the weekend that he could look to leave Real Madrid due to a lack of first-team opportunities. He may not be allowed to leave until the summer due to Madrid’s transfer ban, but Marotta did not deny his club’s interest in the Colombian.
“It depends on what we do in the transfer market,” Marotta told La Gazzetta dello Sport when asked specifically about Rodriguez. “We have to respect the balance sheet, but Juve want to position themselves among the best clubs in the world and so it is and this is and always will be our ambitious objective.
“Four or five years ago, we certainly could not have allowed ourselves to spend the figures we spent on players such as [Gonzalo] Higuain or [Miralem] Pjanic, but now we can. Our potential has grown a great deal thanks to the excellent job done by president Andrea Agnelli which means we can afford major investments in the sporting area.
“And we certainly want to continue travelling down this road.”
But the club will not make a new bid for Wolfsburg’s Julian Draxler after he rejected the chance to move to Turin 18 months ago.
“It’s impossible that [Draxler] will join Juventus because it bothered us a lot when he turned us down,” Marotta said. “If you refuse us once, well, Juventus just look elsewhere.”
But Atalanta’s Mattia Caldara is on the verge of joining the Bianconeri.
“We’re at a good stage and we could make it official in January, but he would only be joining us then in 2018,” Marotta said of the Italy under-21 international, who recently earned a call-up for a training camp with the senior squad.
Marotta also confirmed his club’s intention to sign Axel Witsel, although he said negotiations with Zenit St Petersburg to bring him in next month “have stalled” over the cost of a transfer, considering the Belgian already has an agreement to move to Turin on a free transfer when his contract expires at the end of the season.
Should Juve decide not to complete the deal early, Sevilla’s Steven N’Zonzi may be an alternative, even if he could not help them out in the Champions League.
“We have a good relationship with Sevilla and it’s only right that we make certain enquiries,” Marotta said. “If our investment is made in view of the long-term future then we would be wrong not to seize an opportunity [even if he could not play in the Champions League this season].”
N’Zonzi has already played in the competition this season, with Sevilla and Juve advancing to the round of 16 which begins in February.
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