Claudio Marchisio was the subject of strong interest from Liverpool during the summer transfer window, and the Reds would do well to look at the Italian again.
Juventus sporting director Giuseppe Marotta has revealed that the Bianconeri received several offers for the midfielder, whose contract had a year left to run in June 2015.
The Italian international’s most determined suitors were Liverpool, according to Marotta, but Juve declined to sell before the 29-year-old chose to pen a new five-year deal in Turin.
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Though it would suggest that Marchisio remains happy at the reigning Serie A champions, their sluggish start to the new domestic campaign could cast doubt on his future.
Furthermore, with a change of manager at Anfield from previous incumbent Brendan Rodgers to the effervescent Jurgen Klopp, might a move to Merseyside become a more attractive proposition for the elegant midfield man?
If the Reds do decide to make another assault on Juventus for the Turin-born star, it would likely require a hefty fee to prise him away.
The Old Lady lost Andrea Pirlo and Arturo Vidal in the summer months from their midfield department, making Juve steadfast in their efforts to avoid further significant departures.
However, the Klopp factor could have a huge bearing on any possible transfer, which would potentially provide Liverpool with an experienced deep-lying operator not seen at Anfield since the days of Xabi Alonso.
Marchisio’s successful passing percentage has been over the 80-mark in league action across each of the last six seasons, averaging 84.5 within that period. The aforementioned Xabi Alonso averages 86.7 over the same time-span.
Last season alone, the stylish Italian managed 1.4 key passes per game, against Alonso’s 1.3 in the Bundesliga with Bayern Munich. He also assisted six Juventus goals, while Alonso set up three.
Alonso played 87 passes in each match on average last term, while Marchisio attempted 61 per league outing, thus putting the Spaniard way ahead on that count.
But, it’s indicative of the fact that the former Liverpool playmaker usually sits in front of the Bayern defence, and every move forward tends to start with him. His Juve counterpart often works from the right-centre section of the pitch, meaning he enjoys fewer touches of the ball overall.
STARVED OF SUCCESS
‘Il Principino’ [The Little Prince] has been a consistent performer for hometown team Juventus over the course of several years, having begun life as an attacking midfielder.
He was encouraged to undertake a deeper role once he neared a first-team introduction, which later saw him blossom into one of the best midfielders in Europe.
Perhaps now, with the Bianconeri languishing in 14th place and nine points behind top spot in Serie A, Marchisio may renege on his new contract in order to try his hand elsewhere.
Rafa Benitez took Liverpool to the cusp of winning the Premier League title in Alonso’s final campaign at the club, and nobody has taken on that particular role with such aplomb in the intervening six-year period.
New Reds supremo Jurgen Klopp could do with such an unflustered professional within his ranks, but Juventus would find themselves with a huge void to fill should he switch anytime soon.
It’ll be interesting to see if Liverpool do make an approach for Marchisio in January – and it certainly wouldn’t harm Klopp’s chances of delivering a sought-after league title 25 years and counting since the last if they do.