A German journalist has claimed that Juventus winger Marko Pjaca is set to make a January loan move to Bundesliga side Schalke. The Croatian striker joined Juventus at the start of the 2016/17 season, but hasn't played since last March after picking up a horror cruciate ligament injury.
Posting on his Twitter page, Bild journalist Marc Siekmann claimed that the injury-plagued forward is close to a half-season loan to Germany, in a deal which wouldn't include a clause allowing the club to purchase Pjaca at the end of the campaign. Siekmann's statement translates as:
"The signs that Marko #Pjaca moves to #Schalke intensify. Up to the summer without option to buy, our Italian contacts say lending. Final decision should come today".
Juventus will be eager for Pjaca to get back to full fitness, but may be unwilling to risk fielding the player in Serie A when a more reliable option could be acquired. Goal have reported that Juventus' chief executive Giuseppe Marotta has claimed that Schalke is the most likely destination for Pjaca to continue his recovery, despite interest from a number of top sides.
The 22-year-old was hotly tipped as one of the most exciting young forwards in Europe when he made the move from Dinamo Zagreb to Juventus in 2016, but his nightmare injury has seen promising career falter. Schalke are likely to provide more regular first team football than his current side, and will offer him an excellent opportunity to get back his best in a quality league.
Meanwhile, Juventus are reportedly bracing themselves for an offer from Premier League giants Manchester United for their star forward Paulo Dybala. The Argentine ace is thought to be top of United boss José Mourinho's January transfer window shopping list, as he looks to strengthen his forward line after injuries to Romelu Lukaku and Zlatan Ibrahimović.
The 2017/18 Serie A season has been a fascinating spectacle so far, with Juventus' previously relentless grip on the division showing signs of weakening. Napoli currently lead the division by one point, with Juve sitting tightly behind them in second. The pair are starting to pull away into a two-horse race, but third place Inter and fourth place Roma will look to swiftly narrow the gap.