Serie A transfer news: Nani joins Venezia, Fikayo Tomori injury reinforces AC Milan’s center-back needs, more

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Another week of transfer activity is coming to a close in Italy but not without somewhat of a surprise as former Orlando City veteran and Portuguese legend Nani agreed to join Venezia FC until the end of the season. He’s expected to train with his new teammates for the first time under coach Paolo Zanetti on Saturday in what could prove to be a fascinating move by the American-owned club, following up the successful signing of Gianluca Busio in the summer, who is in the midst of a successful first season in Serie A.

Let’s go around the league with other notable transfer rumors and storylines:

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AC Milan eye center-back

Fikayo Tomori’s meniscus injury suffered against Genoa in the Coppa Italia was arguably the most important news of the week. The former Chelsea center-back is expected to miss at least four weeks, which means he’ll miss a crucial match against Juventus (Jan. 23, Paramount+) as well as the Milan derby against Inter (Feb. 6, Paramount+). The injury bug has hit Milan hard when you take Simon Kjaer’s season-ending ACL injury into account. Tomori going down puts pressure on the club to find a replacement as soon as possible. 

Club legend and technical director Paolo Maldini was already looking for a player in that position, but Tomori’s injury might have changed the plans once again. Lille have made clear that 22-year-old Dutch center-back Sven Botman is non-transferable this winter, as they have already turned down €40 million from Newcastle. With Botman not an immediate option, the Rossoneri will be looking for a defender to serve almost as a band-aid for the next six months, and then aim for a real target in the summer, with Botman being their top target. The main name under immediate consideration is Eric Bailly of Manchester United. The Premier League side is willing to consider a six-month loan. A deal for PSG’s Abdou Diallo, on the other hand, seems unlikely. AC Milan will need to act fast and make a decision in the next few days.

Shevchenko at risk at Genoa

Former AC Milan great Andriy Shevchenko saw his Genoa side come up short at the San Siro in the round of 16 of Coppa Italia on Thursday. The team didn’t play poorly and had the lead for the first 73 minutes until Olivier Giroud’s equalizer changed the complexion of the match as the home side needed extra time to pull out a 3-1 win. 

The managerial seat is getting warmer for the legendary Ukrainian striker as he remains one step away from being sacked if these results continue to hold. His job status has reached a game-by-game status where he’s in search to bounce back and get some positive results for a side that seems parked in the relegation zone in 19th with just 12 points in 21 matches. 

Genoa are already looking to find a replacement with former Hertha Berlin coach Bruno Labbadia being the preferred name. The club also tried to contact former Lyon coach Rudi Garcia, but he wasn’t excited by the idea of coaching a team currently in danger of playing in Serie B next season. Shevchenko was hired in November with the hopes of staying patient and improving the squad in the January transfer window. He could be soon without a job without even making his mark in the market. 

AS Roma is Serie A’s most active club

The club doing the most business thus far in this window is Jose Mourinho’s AS Roma. This week the Portuguese manager acquired Sergio Oliveira from Porto on loan until the end of the season. The Italian club will also have a €13.5 million option to buy the player at the end of the season. Oliveira joins Ainsley Maitland-Niles as the second midfielder acquired in the January window.  At the same time, Gonzalo Villar and Borja Mayoral have left the club to join Getafe on loan until the end of the season as requested by the “Special One,” who failed to find a way to fit them in his rotation.

Juventus could get aggressive

Juventus are working to find opportunities in this transfer window in a week that has been tarnished by the Supercoppa defeat to Inter and Federico Chiesa’s season-ending ACL injury. The Bianconeri are looking for options at the striker position, but haven’t found the right one yet. Alvaro Morata is not expected to leave the club despite Barcelona’s interest and acquiring Mauro Icardi from Paris Saint-Germain seems much more complicated than expected. 

Federico Cherubini, Juve’s sporting director, is currently being contacted by various agents offering strikers. Valencia’s Maxi Gomez and Zenit St. Petersburg’s Sardar Azmoun are among some of the potential options, but they don’t appear to be the right fit for Massimiliano Allegri’s side. Meanwhile, Arsenal have recently inquired about Brazilian midfielder Arthur Melo, who would be happy to join the Premier League club on loan until the end of the season. Juventus would first need to find a replacement in order to make that happen. Bruno Guimaraes is a name on the club’s list, but Lyon are asking for at least €40 million. There are other possibilities as well, but the club will need to figure out whether or not they want to take a player for six months. 

Relegation-threatened Cagliari seek squad makeover

Cagliari are working to change the roster, to try to avoid relegation to the second division. Uruguayan legend Diego Godin left the club and signed with Atlético Mineiro in the Brasileirão (on Paramount+). The club is now looking for young players ready to make an impact, such as Matteo Lovato from Atalanta who is already off to a strong start in his first two games with a new club. 

Waiting game for Fiorentina’s Vlahovic

We’re playing the waiting game with Fiorentina as all eyes are on 21-year-old striker Dusan Vlahovic, who will not renew his agreement which expires in the summer of 2023. Prior to Fiorentina’s 5-2 win over Napoli in the round of 16 of the Coppa Italia, vice-president Joe Barone made it clear to reporters that the club has not yet received any bids. While his future off the pitch is unclear, on the pitch Vlahovic can’t stop scoring goals as he was once again crucial for the Viola’s win. We’re at the halfway mark of the January window, with only a couple of weeks remaining, which means next week will be vital for Fiorentina and the Serbia international. If clubs aren’t ready to make a move in January, his looming departure will likely be postponed to the summer, with many top European clubs likely to be involved in the race. 

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