Juventus Turin has had many world stars in its squad in its glorious history. In the case of two big names, however, a transfer was not made.
Liverpool FC took their chance and convinced the Argentine to stay on the island. After a one and a half year loan, the Reds bought Mascherano for more than 20 million euros. At Anfield he became a world-class midfielder who would go on to win the Champions League twice with FC Barcelona.
And Juventus? Instead, they took Tiago from Olympique Lyon and Sergio Almirón in the summer of 2007 for a total of more than 22 million euros. However, neither could convince in Turin.
The following summer, however, the Italians had another opportunity to sign a midfielder of the highest caliber. None other than Xabi Alonso was on the market.
“Rafael Benítez had decided to sell me. Gareth Barry was supposed to replace me,” the Spaniard recalled years later Guardians return. “I said I would accept his decision. I was close to moving to Arsenal or Juventus but Liverpool wanted €20m.”
Because of three million: Juventus lets Xabi Alonso escape
However, according to Alonso, the two interested clubs were not willing to put more than €17m on the table. “That’s why I stayed,” said Alonso. The then Juventus coach Claudio Ranieri also confirmed this and said that he told those responsible “20 times” to bag Alonso’s transfer.
Alonso’s move to Turin is said to have ultimately failed for financial reasons, although there were only three million euros between the demand and the offer. As an alternative to Alonso, Juventus had long had the former Schalke player Christian Poulsen, who was under contract with FC Sevilla at the time, up their sleeves.
“It was made clear to me that there wasn’t enough money for Alonso. That’s when I gave in and gave my okay for the Poulsen transfer,” concluded Ranieri. As in the case of Mascherano, the transfer of a world star who, among other things, became world champion in the following years and was to win the Champions League again with Real Madrid, was missed.