With one World Cup or European Championship win in 35 years, it’s safe to say that Italy are due a renaissance soon. And if the latest generation of Italian stars are anything to go by, the Azzurri will duly come good, but not before Serie A becomes a hotbed of summer transfer speculation.
Italy’s top tier is filled with exciting talents, all of whom are enjoying regular football at quality clubs like Fiorentina and Torino.
It’s no surprise then, that many of them have acquired the attention of Europe’s biggest outfits, including Barcelona, Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich plus the usual Premier League heavyweights.
With Serie A set to be a key point of this summer’s transfer market, we’ve picked out five men who will be subject to plenty of speculation in the coming months…
If it’s true that Torino have slapped an £85m release clause on their star striker, then he’s got to be something special.
And the statistics would back up that theory. Andrea Belotti has hammered in 19 goals in just 23 Serie A appearances this season, in addition to four assists.
The striker is scoring a goal every 105 minutes, and still aged only 23, is bound to get better still in years to come. Arsenal have been regularly tipped with a move for Belotti in recent months.
He’s not Italian, but like Torino, Atalanta will be desperate to keep hold of their star man, Franck Kessie.
The 20-year-old defensive midfielder boats phenomenal potential, and has played a vital role for his Bergamo-based club, who sit a superb fifth in the table.
And with six goals this term the Ivory Coast international is to be feared at the other end of the pitch too. Little wonder Atalanta hurried to agree a new deal with him last summer – Chelsea and Manchester United have already been linked.
Sassuolo winger Domenico Berardi may have missed much of this season through injury, but the 22-year-old showcased his talent last term with seven goals and six assists.
Berardi returned to fitness in the new year, and it’s no coincidence that Sassuolo’s fortunes have changed since then.
Sitting sixteenth before the 22-year-old made his comeback, I Neroverdi have picked up four wins in eight games to lie twelfth and again head for a remarkable mid-table finish.
Inter are reportedly closing in on a deal, while Juventus have also been touted as a buyer.
Poor Sassuolo could be cannon fodder this summer, with Lorenzo Pellegrini also set to be in demand.
The 20-year-old central midfielder has performed wonders to keep the Modena-outfit ticking over, and their mid-table position is a credit to his talents.
With five goals and four assists, Pellegrini is chipping in at the opposite end too, and can equally play in a more advanced or defensive role.
Roma have a buy-back option on the Italian U21, but Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal are reportedly keen too.
Alongside Belotti, Fiorentina’s Federico Bernardeschi could be a pricey – yet worthwhile – acquisition.
The 23-year-old has fired in 13 goals in all competitions this season, not bad for a player who is often utilised as a winger.
But the Italian international is also capable as a second striker or attacking midfielder, and that tactical flexibility could be a dream asset this summer.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing