Alexis Sanchez is heading to Juventus this summer, claims Matteo Materazzi.
Barcelona pipped a number of rival clubs to sign the Chile international almost two years ago, when they paid around £25million to lure him from Udinese. Sanchez has gone on to make 69 appearances for the Spanish giants in all competitions, scoring 20 goals along the way.
However, many pundits believe the 24-year-old has failed to find his best form at the Camp Nou, having struggled to nail down a regular starting place. There have also been suggestions that Barca are prepared to sell him in the summer in order to fund a bid for Santos ace Neymar.
And according to Materazzi, Sanchez looks bound for a return to Serie A with Juventus. The Italian agent claims the Bianconeri are set to sell Arturo Vidal, another Chilean, to finance the transfer, which would likely see the Blaugrana take a small loss on their 2011 outlay.
“I believe he is going to Juventus, who seem to be about to sell Vidal just to raise that kind of money,” Materazzi told Napolicalciolive.com today. “He’s the striker that Juve are missing, he would be perfect for [Antonio] Conte. That the Chilean [Vidal] is going is a less painful as in the squad already there is [Paul] Pogba who is ready to become a regular starter.”
Whilst Conte would no doubt welcome Sanchez into his plans, it would be a surprise if the Juve coach was so readily prepared to let Vidal move on. The 25-year-old has been a key member of his starting line-up for the past two seasons, and this term, only Andrea Barzagli, Leonard Bonucci and Andrea Pirlo, of his outfield players, have spent more time on the pitch than the midfielder.
The tough-tackling former Bayer Leverkusen man still has three years remaining on his contract, and should he be made available, the Turin club would probably look for at least twice the €10.5million fee they paid for his signature in the summer of 2011. Manchester United and Real Madrid have been linked with him in the past, and could show an interest in the coming weeks.