Juventus are reportedly ready to offer Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur target Dejan Kulusevski as a makeweight in a deal to land Manchester United outcast Anthony Martial this winter.
According to Calciomercato (via Inside Futbol), the record-time Italian champions are lining up a January bid for the Frenchman that would involve winger Kulusevski arriving at Old Trafford on loan.
Man United have already made it clear they are ready to give up Martial’s services this winter as long as someone accepts to pay the forward’s wages in full.
Following a couple of solid years in Manchester, the 26-year-old has gone off the boil, becoming a bit-part player first under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and now under Ralf Rangnick.
Martial has amassed only seven Premier League appearances this season, scoring once in the process.
Five of those appearances came from the substitutes bench while he has yet to feature for Man United under Rangnick.
Given the fierce competition for places up top, the former Monaco prodigy is likely to be allowed to leave Old Trafford in January to get his stuttering career back on the rails.
Despite his limited playing time in the Premier League, Martial has a host of admirers across Europe.
Hot La Liga title candidates Sevilla long looked to be in pole position to give him an escape route from England, but the Spaniards’ loan bid has fallen short of Man United’s requirements.
The Red Devils are still having second thoughts about sanctioning Martial’s loan departure as they would like to cash in on his exit outright.
However, Juventus could change United’s minds with an exciting swap offer that would send Kulusevski in the opposite direction this winter.
Kulusevski has no future at Juventus
Like his Man United counterpart, the Swede has been deemed surplus to requirements at the Allianz Stadium following an underwhelming spell under Massimiliano Allegri.
The 21-year-old forward has made only four Serie A starts this season, having played second fiddle to Moise Kean, Federico Bernardeschi and Federico Chiesa for most of Allegri’s second tenure.
But after paying Parma around €40 million to acquire his signature two years ago, Juventus are reluctant to let the Swede rot on the bench.
Instead of nailing him down to the bench, the Italians are looking to use him as a bargaining chip in negotiations to bring Martial to Serie A.
While he may not be the type of player the Red Devils are looking for, the competitive interest from Arsenal and Tottenham could be an incentive for the Old Trafford outfit to accept the trade.
Cristiano Ronaldo could broker the deal
Kulusevski is not having the best time of his life, but his versatility and outrageous left foot still make him one of the hottest young prospects in Serie A.
Let’s go back to his inaugural season in Turin.
In the 2020/21 campaign, Kulusevski barely missed any Serie A matches for Juventus match in Serie A, racking up 35 appearances in Italy’s top-flight under former boss Andrea Pirlo.
Despite being deployed in various positions, he clocked up four goals and three assists in the league last season, adding six goal contributions in the Coppa Italia.
During his time at Juventus, Cristiano Ronaldo spotted the Swede’s qualities and spoke highly of his potential.
“He is a great talent,” Ronaldo said after Portugal 2-0 win over Sweden in September 2020, as relayed by Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio.
“He will help us to win and achieve incredible things. I really like to see him, he has great potential, and he’s an excellent player. I hope to play with him and score a lot of goals together.”
On that basis, Ronaldo may well support Kulusevski’s arrival at Old Trafford.
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