Juventus Look to Fill Void Left by Leonardo Bonucci's Departure by Making Move for BVB Hard Man
Juventus are believed to have set their sights on Borussia Dortmund centre-back Sokratis Papastathopoulos, known simply as 'Sokratis', to plug the gap left by club legend Leonardo Bonucci. The Italian icon moved to AC Milan for a fee of €42m. Sokratis has established himself as a quality centre-back during his successful four season spell at the cavernous Westfalenstadion.
According to reports from Goal, the Greek defender has been identified by Juve boss Massimilano Allegri as the primary target to replace Bonucci, despite the chances of the Bundesliga side agreeing to sell the player being slim. Dortmund have just three central defensive options at their disposal: New signing Omer Toprak, Marc Bartra, and Sokratis.
Premier League sides Arsenal and Chelsea were also believed to be keen on landing the 29-year-old, however the interest of the latter is thought to have cooled following the signing of Roma's Antonio Rüdiger. Juventus will be determined to sign the Greek international, and will hope to lure the player to Turin with a hefty contract the bonus of Champions League football.
Sokratis started his career with Greek giants AEK Athens, before moving to Genoa in 2008. The 6ft 1 defender impressed enough to earn a move to AC Milan, but only made five appearances for the side in two seasons. An impressive loan spell with Werder Bremen established Sokratis as a quality player in Germany, who signed for Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund in 2013.
Juventus are also believed to be interest in signing Chelsea's defensive midfielder Nemanja Matić, who has been allowed to miss the Blues' pre-season as his career at Stamford Bridge is all but over. However, the club will have to battle with Manchester United for the Serbian's services, as Red Devils' boss José Mourinho is eager to link up with the player once again.