Juventus are willing to consider a stunning swap deal involving Stephan Lichsteiner and Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Adrien Rabiot if their Swiss wing-back continues to play hardball in talks over a contract extension.
That is according to Turin-based daily Tuttosport, who believe that with both men out of contract next summer the chance of Juve using Lichtsteiner as bait to win the tussle for promising youngster Rabiot cannot be discounted.
The 19-year-old has been linked with a whole host of Premier League clubs including Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur, but Serie A still looks the playmaker's most likely destination at this stage and Juve are so desperate to sign him that may well part with a key man in Lichsteiner to make it happen.
Rabiot's exit from France is now inevitable
It's been pretty clear for some time that Rabiot is far from happy at PSG and wants a fresh challenge with more regular first-team football elsewhere, with even his manager Laurent Blanc expecting a Bosman exit next summer.
Rabiot is asking a whole host of potential suitors for a stunning €5 million-a-year salary, with his representatives acutely aware of the starlet's potential as they attempt to secure a pay packet which would work out at a whopping €96,000-a-week.
Juve are hardly paupers but can't compete with their Premier League counterparts for wages, which means Lichtsteiner could well prove a surprise transfer trump card.
Swiss star's contract talks hold they key
It's something of a surprise to Juve fans that Lichtsteiner's future has not yet been sorted out, with the energetic wing-back an absolutely vital component of a Bianconeri side which has won three Scudetto's on the spin and remain utterly dominant in Serie A.
The 30-year-old wants fresh terms that reflect his importance to the team, although it remains to be seen if new Juve boss Massimiliano Allegri puts him on the same pedestal as previous boss Antonio Conte.
Juve have been discussing a new deal with Lichsteiner on and off for more than six months now, but an agreement is still no closer and that frustration could yet see him surprisingly leave for free next summer.
Both Lichtsteiner and Rabiot are free to talks terms with clubs from January, so expect movement on this front very soon from Juve in particular.