Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba’s failed drug test has forced the team management to find a replacement for the French footballer. If found guilty, France’s 2018 World Cup-winning member could very well be suspended for up to four years. If Pogba is banned, his second spell at Juventus could come to an end on a bitter note. According to a Gazzetta dello Sport report, Juventus are even expected to terminate Pogba’s contract if he is banned at all. Pogba had signed a four-year deal with the Italian club last year.
As a result of this, the Serie A side have reportedly started finding a suitable replacement for Pogba. With the summer transfer window already closed, Juventus sporting director Cristiano Giuntoli will only be able to bring in new faces as soon as January. Italian outlet Calciomercato have come up with a list of footballers Juventus are interested in to replace Pogba who has till now made 12 appearances during his second stint at the club.
Arsenal’s Thomas Partey appears to be the first name on the shortlist, prepared by Calciomercato. Partey was linked with a move to Saudi Arabia this summer but the Ghanaian ultimately decided to stay at Emirates. According to reports, the Gunners are now planning to let the 30-year-old midfielder go. Partey had played a key role in Arsenal’s sensational Premier League run last season.
Having arrived in London in 2020, Partey has so far represented in more than 100 games for Arsenal. Due to Declan Rice’s signing, Partey had to be shifted to a defensive role this season. Partey did adjust to a relatively new position in the team but his future in the Premier League seems to be a bit uncertain. In his last appearance for Arsenal, Partey was taken off the field in the 56th minute against Fulham in the domestic League. Partey’s current Arsenal contract is set to expire in 2025.
Juventus sporting director Cristiano Giuntoli is understood to be most interested in Nice’s Khephren Thuram. Though, the 22-year-old French midfielder can turn out to be the most expensive footballer on the list. The Italian outfit will reportedly have to shell out around €35 million to acquire the services of Thuram.
Borussia Monchengladbach’s Manu Kone, Strasbourg midfielder Habib Diarra and Borussia Dortmund’s Abdoulaye Kamara are the three other footballers who are being closely monitored by the Bianconeri.
According to Tuttosport, Juventus team management are also following Udinese’s Lazar Samardzic. The 21-year-old German was rumoured to complete his move to Inter Milan this summer but the potential deal did not materialise.