Juventus switch attentions to Balzaretti

The left-back starred for Italy during their run to the Euro 2012 final, and could now be in line for a return to the Old Lady after they cooled their interest in Federico Peluso
By Romeo Agresti

Juventus have made Federico Balzaretti their primary transfer target after stepping up their pursuit of a new left-sided defender to compliment Paolo De Ceglie, Goal.com understands.

The Old Lady had originally pinpointed Atalanta's Federico Peluso as their chief full-back target, but have had their heads turned by Balzaretti's fine displays for Italy at Euro 2012.

Management at the Juventus Stadium have also changed their criteria for a prospective left-back arrival, as they now want a player who already has international experience.

Balzaretti is a former Juventus player, having made 57 appearances for the Bianconeri between 2005 and 2007, helping the side back into Serie A, before departing for Fiorentina and eventually joining current club Palermo.

Last summer, Rosanero president Maurizio Zamparini claimed Paris Saint-Germain had struck a deal to sign the Italy international at the end of the 2011-12 campaign, while AC Milan have been also mooted as suitors.

However, a transfer to Parc des Princes never materialised, with PSG instead signing Barcelona man Maxwell in January, and that, coupled with Milan's depleted transfer budget, has allowed Juve to step in.

If Balzaretti does not arrive, then another potential left-sided target is Boca Juniors starlet Juan Sanchez Mino.

The 22-year-old would cost around 5.5 million, but is viewed as a gamble, while he is also deemed too similar to current option De Ceglie.

Nonetheless, despite being Argentine, he is of Spanish origin, meaning receiving EU citizenship should prove to be a formality.

Finally, the future of Marcelo Estigarribia currently looks uncertain. The Paraguayan winger, 24, featured only sparsely for the Old Lady last season following his loan switch from Le Mans.

Originally tipped to stay in Turin on a permanent basis, he has been increasingly linked with a move away, most likely as bargaining chip for a bigger transfer.

Udinese are currently favourites to sign Estigarribia, with Francesco Guidolin understood to be a big fan of the international, and have already enquired about the possibility of signing him.