Conte looking to build for the future while Juve continue to dominate.
With the January transfer window open for business, our six-part Serie A series first asks what Juventus need to stay top and secure their third consecutive Scudetto.
As has been the case over the past two years, Juventus’ transfer strategy has arguably been centred around strengthening the squad in order to compete in Europe.
Having seen their Champions League adventure come to a close this season in the group stages, it is unlikely that they will invest a significant amount in the squad until the summer, although club officials have insisted that they want to win the Europa League.
Furthermore, having responded to Roma winning their first ten games of the season, Juve went on a nine-game winning streak of their own to close out 2013, and sit atop the Serie A table ahead of the showdown with the Giallorossi on Sunday.
As a result, transfer speculation has been somewhat muted in recent weeks, with the contract renewals for the likes of Arturo Vidal, Andrea Pirlo and Paul Pogba taking precedent.
Nevertheless, rumours do suggest that the Bianconeri may be looking to strengthen the playing squad in the long-term, with various links to players both coming in and leaving.
It is perhaps accepted that Antonio Conte’s squad still has players of value that they would like to shift in order to continue to build a squad capable of winning the Champions League.
The likes of Fabio Quagliarella and Mirko Vucinic are rumoured to be on their way out of the club, while it is inevitable that Paolo De Ceglie and Marco Motta will be moved on too.
Perhaps more worryingly though, is the on-going speculation that Conte himself may decide to move on this summer, with Monaco reportedly interested in his services, according to Football Italia.
In terms of bringing players in, Juve have been long-time admirers of Manchester United winger Nani, while Chelsea youngster Kevin De Bruyne is also on their radar.
However, Cagliari midfielder Radja Nainggolan is perhaps the most realistic target, after the club’s president, Massimo Cellino, revealed that he is ready to sell and counterpart Beppe Marotta admitted that he would be ideal for his club, as reported by Goal.com.
There are also co-owned talented youngsters such as Domenico Berardi to consider, but again those matters will arguably wait until the end of the season before the Turin giants begin to reinforce their squad.
If there are arrivals in January, they will perhaps be brought in with the aim of solidifying Juve’s place at the top of the Serie A able, or players capable of playing a role in Europe.
However, given that they found their stride prior to the winter break and look back to their ruthless best in Italy, it is arguably unnecessary for Juventus to be looking at the transfer market at this point in time.
If circumstances were to change though, Conte may consider opportunities to further strengthen his squad regardless of whether or not he is still in Turin come the summer.