Alisson joins AS Roma

Having completed his Roma medical this week, the Selecao no.1 will be hoping to emulate an illustrious list of his compatriots who have starred in Italy’s top-flight.

On Tuesday, Brazil goalkeeper Alisson passed a medical in Italy ahead of his proposed transfer to Roma.

The 23-year-old emerged as the Selecao’s no.1 in October 2015, dislodging the previously immovable Jefferson, and attracting the interest of the capital club.

Despite his tender years, the Internacional man impressed coach Dunga to such a degree that he was originally set to be one of Brazil’s overage wildcards at the upcoming Rio Olympics, though the emergence of Ederson at Benfica has resulted in a rethink.

After a slightly nervy start on his international debut against Venezuela, he has etabished himself as the five-time world champions’ undisputed no.1 in his four matches since, including an outstanding performance in Asuncion that saw Brazil grab a 2-2 draw.

Alisson has subsequently held off competition from the returning Diego Alves and will be a starter at June’s Copa America Centenario ahead of his move to Europe, where he is now set to continue his rapid rise by adding to a long tradition of Brazilians standing between the posts in Serie A.

The Rio Grande do Sul native has repeatedly credited Selecao goalkeeping coach Taffarel with his continued improvement and will no doubt be picking the former World Cup-winner’s brains ahead of his switch to Roma.

Taffarel knows Serie A as well as anyone, having helped Parma to two Coppa Italia titles and a UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup during two spells with the club between 1991-93 and a brief return in 2002.

Alisson began his professional career as back-up to another former Serie A and World Cup-winning great, Dida, who picked up two UEFA Champions League titles during a trophy-laden decade with AC Milan.

Dida also claimed a Serie A title in 2004, though his domestic success was eclipsed by another great Brazilian goalkeeper in Milan, Julio Cesar, who earned himself a reputation as the world’s best goalkeeper at Inter during the tail end of the previous decade.

Julio Cesar became an idol at San Siro, securing five league titles, three Coppas Italia and a Champions League title during his seven years in Italy.

More recently, former Santos custodian Rafael Cabral has been attempting to make his way in Serie A, though has found first-team football hard to come by at Napoli since his 2013 move.

However, Alisson will hope to follow in the footsteps of a more successful predecessor at the Stadio Olimpico, Doni.

The now retired former Brazil international claimed two Italian cups in the eternal city during six years with the club, earning himself a call-up to Copa America 2007 under current coach Dunga.

He played all six matches as the Selecao romped to their eighth South American crown, playing his part with two penalty saves to see his country past Uruguay in the semi-final shootout.

Alisson, then, will certainly have a lot to live up to in Serie A, but for both current club and country he has time and again displayed the mental strength to suggest he is ready to meet expectations and continue the great tradition of Brazilian goalkeepers in Calcio.

“This team is the top for me,” he said upon landing in Rome. “I’m very happy and pleased to be here.” Rome and Serie A will no doubt be pleased to have him.

According to hityah sports news, Pjanic could leave for Bayern Munchen or Juventus, but if he stays his team will look better next season with the new goalkeeper.

Pjanic in, Caceres out – Juventus' summer transfer plans

The Italian champions want to make subtle tweaks to their squad as opposed to wholesale changes, with the midfield the area that they are targeting an improvement in


GOALANALYSIS

It was a season that once again ended with Juventus reasserting their supremacy in Italy by pulling off a second successive domestic double. Of course, the 2015-16 campaign began with the Old Lady lifting the Supercoppa Italiana, meaning coach Massimiliano Allegri has claimed five trophies in just two seasons at the helm, while a grand total of 10 titles have now been won since Andrea Agnelli was installed as club president.

However, the powers that be at corso Galileo Ferraris remain intent on making that extra jump in class in order to conquer Europe. As a result, there will be further strengthening the squad this summer, with a focus on quality over quantity.

The budget is there to make significant signings but Juventus will continue to operate within strict financial parameters, meaning there will also be departures, as the Bianconeri remain intent on living within their means.


CONFIRMED DEALS

Continuity is the key word at Juve. The focus is on keeping the pillars of the dressing room firmly in place. As a result, Allegri, Andrea Barzagli and Gianluigi Buffon have already penned contract extensions until 2018 – and Patrice Evra is expected to follow suit. However, Martin Caceres’ time in Turin is set to come to an end. While the Uruguayan retains the support of Allegri, the defender’s campaign has been blighted by injuries and off-field incidents. As a result, his contract will not be renewed and Roma, Napoli, Milan and Inter are all possible destinations, without ruling out the possibility of a move abroad.

Juventus always have one eye on the future and, with that in mind, Simone Andrea Ganz and Matheus Pereira have already been signed, from Como and Corinthians, respectively. Ganz, 22, arrives on a free transfer, having penned a four-year deal with the Bianconeri. Pereira, meanwhile, is considered an excellent midfield prospect and the 18-year-old Brazilian is likely to be sent out on loan to one of Juve’s ‘partner’ clubs – Empoli, Bologna or Sassuolo – to see how he adjusts to the Italian game.  


THE ARRIVALS

In addition to the youngsters detailed above, Juve also have some high-profile midfield targets, chief among them Andre Gomes of Valencia and Roma ace Miralem Pjanic. In addition, Sassuolo Domenico Berardi is almost certain to bolster the Juve attack.

Dramatic alterations to the squad are likely to be avoided, with like-for-like changes probable in view of the players set to leave. 


THE DEPARTURES

In truth, several players could be about to bid farewell to the Old Lady. The most complicated cases involve Alvaro Morata and Juan Cuadrado. The Spain striker is set to return to the Santiago Bernabeu, with Real Madrid ready to activate the €30 million buy-back option they installed in his contract when he left for Turin. Cuadrado now appears likely to return to Chelsea now that Antonio Conte has been confirmed as the Blues’ new boss. The Italy coach is a keen admirer of the Colombian, who will be optimistic that his second spell at Stamford Bridge will go better than his first, under former manager Jose Mourinho. Consequently, it will be difficult for Beppe Marotta to hang on to both players.

Elsewhere, Neto will leave in search of first-team football, while the midfield overhaul could also result in the departures of Roberto Pereyra, Hernanes and Marco Sturaro. The future of Simone Zaza also remains uncertain, as he remains of great interest to several Premier League clubs.


HOW THE TEAM WILL LOOK

Juventus boss denies approaching Pjanic

The Juventus manager dismissed claims he has contacted Roma’s Bosnian midfielder and also insists he was never close to agreeing a switch to Chelsea

Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri has denied suggestions he contacted Roma midfielder Miralem Pjanic to discuss a potential transfer to the Serie A champions.

Allegri is believed to be keen to add some more creativity to his midfield ahead of next season and has allegedly earmarked the 26-year-old Bosnia and Herzegovina international as the ideal signing.

However, the coach is adamant he has not approached the Roma star.


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“Miralem is one of the best midfielders around on the European pitches, but I categorically deny that I called him,” Allegri told Sky Sport.

“I would never even dream of doing so. He is not a Juventus player and is under contract with another club.

“We need just a few changes to improve our team, some quality additions. I have asked [chief executive Giuseppe] Marotta and [sporting director Fabio] Paratici to look for players who know how to play football, but who also have the right attitude.”

Allegri was linked with Chelsea before eventually signing a new deal with Juventus but has claimed he did not consider walking away from the Turin giants.

“I was never close to leaving Juventus for another club. I had already decided that I wanted to stay with Juventus during Christmas,” he added.

“I asked the club to speed things up in February in order to avoid rumours linking me with other clubs,” he added, referring to his contract negotiations. 

Juve have won five successive Serie A titles, the last two coming under Allegri, who will face his former club AC Milan in the Coppa Italia final on Saturday.

I want to stay at Roma, insists Nainggolan

The Chelsea target has underlined his desire to remain at the Stadio Olimpico and jokes he will stop speaking to team-mate Miralem Pjanic if he decides to join Juventus

Radja Nainggolan has reiterated he does not want to leave Roma and is desperate for Miralem Pjanic to reject a move to Juventus.

Nainggolan has been heavily linked with a summer transfer to Chelsea, with incoming boss Antonio Conte reportedly having identified him as a primary target.

Pjanic, on the other hand, is reportedly the subject of interest from Serie A champions Juve and the 26-year-old is understood to have a buyout clause of €38million in his contract.

Nainggolan, however, says he has made it clear to Roma officials that he has no desire to leave and hopes Pjanic remains a team-mate of his at the Stadio Olimpico.

“I want to stay, the club know my thoughts perfectly well,” he said, as quoted by Il Tempo.


GOALREAD MORE  | Gomes, not Pjanic, is Juve’s priority


“If it [Pjanic joining Juve] happens, I won’t talk to him any more! Having said that, maybe in the end Pjanic will stay and I will go.

“No, that’s just a joke. I want to stay at Roma.”

Roma president James Pallotta underlined the club’s determination to keep hold of the star duo last week.

“I have already said that we will not sell Pjanic and Nainggolan,” Pallotta told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“I want to see them continue in the jersey of Roma.”

Andre Gomes Juve's priority as Marotta balks at Pjanic release clause

The Bosnian’s €38 million price tag is more than the Juve director is willing to pay, leaving open the possibility of a part-exchange while Gomes remains a top target


Valencia’s Portuguese prospect Andre Gomes has emerged as a top transfer priority for Juventus in the coming window, while the club maintains interest in Miralem Pjanic despite his daunting valuation. 

The Serie A winners are looking to bolster their ranks in the middle of the pitch due to the long-term absence of club icon Claudio Marchisio.

The 30-year-old underwent surgery earlier this year and is expected to be out another six months following a knee injury, leaving Juve short on midfield quality.

Gomes, 22, has impressed at Los Che this season and the Italians are keen to close a deal in the face of interest from the likes of Manchester United. Talks have already opened with the player’s agent Jorge Mendes, and the club would be willing to spend up to €30 million on the Portugal international. 


GOALREAD MORE  | Dybala praises ‘inspirational’ Buffon

With an approach for Gomes already underway and the repatriation of Mario Lemina from Marseille a done deal, Roma star Pjanic nevertheless remains a tempting figure after his brilliant season in 2015-16. 

The Bosnian’s release clause at the Stadio Olimpico is worth €38 million, but Goal understands that Bianconeri director Giuseppe Marotta is not considering matching that valuation in order to force a sale. 

Any deal made with Juve’s Serie A rivals will have to come with Roma’s consent, and the champions will attempt to open talks in order to gauge the possibility of taking Pjanic for the coming season.

Daniele Rugani, Simone Zaza and Stefano Sturaro could also be used as make-weights in a cash-plus-player deal to tempt the Giallorossi into releasing their midfield lynchpin, should Marotta wish to cut transfer outlay in what promises to be a busy window at Juventus Stadium.