The first time I saw Pablo Osvaldo play a game of football was during Wembley’s first ever competitive international. England under-21s were taking on their Italian counter-parts and Pablo’s strike partner and current AC Milan striker Giampaolo Pazzini stole the show by grabbing a sensational hat-trick at the new home of English football.
Now it seems he could have a similar subsidiary impact to the English game; as the Argentine-born striker appears to have become Juventus’s newest number one transfer target.
The effect this has on the Premier League revolves around one man; Fernando Llorente.
The perennial hogger of the gossip columns the Basque striker has been effectively on strike due to his refusal to sign a new contract at San Mames this summer. With his current deal running out in the summer he has been linked with several January moves, as clubs across Europe look to take advantage of Athletic Bilbao’s difficult conundrum; whether to keep him and lose him for free or earn some money on a 16 year investment by selling him to the highest bidder in January.
The issue here however is who exactly will sign him. Juventus have other plans in January as they look to strengthen their squad ahead of a battle for Italian and what the fans hope could be European supremacy.
Llorente has however played in the Europa League this season; meaning he would fill the only allocation for players who can switch clubs and Uefa competitions in a single season.
Nicklas Bendtner was signed this summer as a temporary solution, a plaster if you will, with Llorente considered a done-deal come January however the emergence of Osvaldo’s talents at Roma make him a more then viable option.
Llorente will leave Bilbao, whether that is in January or June is the only issue but the Bianconeri want a striker in January as they have so far been nothing but underwhelmed by the on-loan Dane’s contributions.
Couple this with Roma being a fellow Italian side it gives The Old Lady scope to do a typically Italian style transfer with Giallorossi; a player exchange deal. Vincenzo Iaquinta is one name being mentioned as a potential makeweight in any deal and would soften the blow of losing one of their star men. Meanwhile Roma are also reported to stepping up interest in Leandro Damiao among others as potential striking options.
image: © mitsurinho