Juve set for summer swoop
By Stephen Bateman
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Adrian Mutu could be headed for Roma as Juve look to snare Antonio Cassano.
Reports in Italy suggest that Antonio Cassano will join Juventus in the summer with Adrian Mutu possibly heading to Roma as part of the deal.
Cassano has been refusing to sign a new contract with the Giallorossi, prompting speculation that he could be set to leave Rome in the New Year.
It is now emerging, however, that Juve director general Luciano Moggi has already agreed a deal in principle with the capital-based club after ending his interest in midfielder Alessandro Mancini last summer.
It is also understood that Internazionale tried to hijack the Juve bid by offering Roma £4 million for Cassano when the January transfer window opens.
But, although the Giallorossi would like to offload the player as soon as possible, Moggi is prepared to trump any contract deal that his Milan rivals may propose, leaving the unsettled Cassano stranded at the Stadio Olimpico until Juve step in.
And the Turin giants are unlikely to do that until the summer, when it is believed that they will be prepared to meet the Roma asking price by negotiating a deal that will see either Mutu or defender Giorgio Chiellini arrive in the Eternal City, accompanied by a cheque for é¼10 million (£7 million).
That would most likely leave Cassano, recently branded a liar by Giallorossi chief operating officer Rosella Sensi, frozen out of first-team action for the next eight months - a position he desperately wants to avoid.
Italy coach Marcello Lippi recently vowed that he would leave Cassano out of his plans unless he is playing regular competitive football.