Serie A giants Juventus made a surprise decision to sell Leonardo Bonucci to AC Milan earlier in the week, and this could potentially leave a huge void to fill at the back. The Old Lady have the likes of Daniele Rugani and Mehdi Benatia, who could be deployed alongside Giorgio Chiellini and Andrea Barzagli in the backline, but Max Allegri will still have his sights on a new centre-back this summer. Calcio Insider looks into three potential players who could replace the Italy international in the Bianconeri setup.
Stefan di Vrij – Lazio: The Dutchman is back to his best form following an extended spell on the sidelines between 2015 and 2016. The Netherlands international has emerged as a transfer target for the likes of Manchester United and Liverpool, but a move to Juventus could be an option, should he be guaranteed a regular spot in the starting lineup. Di Vrij has just 12 months left on his existing deal, and Lazio are better off offloading the player rather than risking him on a free next summer.
Sokratis Papastathopoulos – Borussia Dortmund: The Greece international enjoyed a fine spell with the Bundesliga outfit last term as they ended their long-trophy drought. The 29-year-old bagged 41 appearances across all competitions while helping the club clinch the DfB Pokal Cup. Papastathopoulous has perfectly adapted to the three-at-the-back formation at Signal Iduna Park, and he could be the perfect foil to Chiellini and Barzagli – both richly experienced with Juve and Italy.
Emre Can – Liverpool: The Germany international has mostly plyed his trade for Liverpool in holding midfield, but he can comfortably slot in the centre-back and right-back positions. Can is currently stalling over a potential contract at Anfield, and Juventus could yet take advantage of his situation in order to lure him to Turin. Allegri had initially earmarked Can as a replacement for wantaway midfielder Mario Lemina, but the departure of Bonucci could present a fresh need for the 23-year-old.
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