Serie A giants Juventus have confirmed their interest in Borussia Dortmund’s Henrikh Mkhitaryan after admitting defeat in their pursuit of Wesley Sneijder.
The current champions sit firmly atop of the table at the half-way stage of the season, and are keen to bolster their squad this month in order to ensure they fend off Rudi Garcia’s Roma to win a fourth league title in a row.
Sneijder had been expected to end his hellish time in Turkey with Galatasary with a move to Turin, but with that move now unlikely to unfold the Old Lady have turned their attentions to Mkhitaryan as a possible alternative.
Not content with resting easy at the summit, Massimiliano Allegri has made no secret of his desire to bolster the squad in the hope that he can win the league title in his maiden season at the club after succeeding Antonio Conte back in the summer.
And he had been thought to be close to sealing a deal for Sneijder, whose situation with the Turkish side has soured in recent months with Southampton and Manchester United also amongst an endless list of interested parties.
His first spell in Italy was a huge success, with the Dutchman helping Inter Milan win the treble under the stewardship of Jose Mourinho back in 2010 prior to the Portuguese’s departure to La Liga giants Real Madrid.
However after arguments over his pay packet and the club’s insistence that he lessen his financial demands, he was shipped abroad to Galatasaray after pricing other possible suitors out of a move and is now at the centre of a similar argument that has the 30-year-old facing an uncertain future.
Dortmund are unlikely to relinquish any asset of theirs without a fight – United can account to that given their desire to sign Mats Hummels and Marco Reus – but could see Mkhitaryan become the latest high-profile player to leave the Signal Induna Park in recent years.
Despite Jurgen Klopp’s insistence to the contrary, the Bundesliga champions of two years have become a selling club with Mario Gotze and Robert Lewandowski jumping ship to Pep Guardiola’s Bayern Munich in the last two years, with interest also rife in Hummels and Reus from the majority of Europe’s elite.
They are currently entrenched in a huge battle against relegation despite drafting in Ciro Immobile and Shinji Kagawa in the summer, having lost more matches than anyone else in the division and mustering just four wins from their 17 league games.
Solace has come in the form of the Champions League, where they are set to face Juventus in the round of 16, but they may do so without their 25-year-old midfielder if the Old Lady and Allegri get their way.