Marotta hints at Juve's James interest, rules out Draxler move
The Serie A champions could make a bid for the Real Madrid playmaker, but they will not seek to bring the Wolfsburg forward to Serie A
James Rodriguez could be a target for Juventus but Wolfsburg’s Julian Draxler is not an option, according to the Serie A champions’ general manager Giuseppe Marotta.
Colombia international James said last weekend that he could look to leave Real Madrid due to a lack of first-team opportunities under Zinedine Zidane.
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Those comments drew criticism from Madrid captain Sergio Ramos and Juve could be in position to take advantage of James’ discontent, although the European champions’ transfer embargo means they could be more inclined to hold onto the 25-year-old until that ban is lifted at the end of the season.
“It depends on what we do in the transfer market,” Marotta told La Gazzetta dello Sport when asked about James.
“We have to respect the balance sheet, but Juve want to position themselves among the best clubs in the world and this is and always will be our ambitious objective.
“Four or five years ago, we certainly could not have allowed ourselves to spend the figures we spent on players such as [Gonzalo] Higuain or [Miralem] Pjanic, but now we can.
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“Our potential has grown a great deal thanks to the excellent job done by president Andrea Agnelli which means we can afford major investments in the sporting area.
“And we certainly want to continue travelling down this road.”
However, a seemingly bitter Marotta ruled out a move for Draxler, who rejected Juve’s advances 18 months ago.
“It’s impossible that [Draxler] will join Juventus because it bothered us a lot when he turned us down,” he added. “If you refuse us once, well, Juventus just look elsewhere.”
Marotta also confirmed that Atalanta’s Mattia Caldara is close to completing his move to Juve, although he would not join officially until 2018.
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Zenit midfielder Axel Witsel is expected to arrive when his contract expires at the end of the season and Marotta hinted at further interest in Sevilla’s Steven N’Zonzi.
“We have a good relationship with Sevilla and it’s only right that we make certain enquiries,” said Marotta. “If our investment is made in view of the long-term future then we would be wrong not to seize an opportunity.”