Juventus are keen on signing Lazio forward Keita Balde, who is being tracked by Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea, but he may well be out of reach.
Juve are hoping to jump to head of the queue for the talented 22-year-old, but they may not have the financial muscle to take the player to Turin.
Calciomercato claim that Balde is one of the Bianconeri’s top summer targets and Massimiliano Allegri is a bid admirer of the Senegal forward.
That however may not be enough to land Balde, whose contract is due to expire in June 2018. Lazio patron Claudio Lotitio wants the player to sign a new deal in Rome, but Fabrizio Romano reports that Keita seems “likely to look elsewhere at the end of the season”.
Juve look like Serie A champions elect and are in fact still fighting for silverware on three fronts and they look an attractive proposition, but Lotitio is believed to be chasing €30-35million for the player. That is believed to be a price tag that Juve are unwilling to meet; they “feel it is far too high for a player who has yet to prove his consistency at the highest level.”
Keita has scored seven goals in 22 appearances this season and claimed four assists, while he scored five times last season and registered eight assists.
According to Gazzetta dello Sport last month Manchester United are also known admirers, while Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool are believed to be monitoring his situation.
Calciomercato claim Lazio and Lotito have a problem. Do the club lower the asking price and therefore offload Keita in the summer, or do they risk losing the player on a free-transfer in 2018.
Apparently Juve’s transfer committee of Giuseppe Marotta and Fabio Paratici have made it quite clear they will do business if the asking price is lowered.
The ball now could well be back in the court of the Premier League clubs and they must decide whether to firm up their interest in the former Barcelona youth player.