Juventus are leading a six-strong contingent of European giants who are tracking talented Uruguayan Joaquin Ardaiz, according to Calciomercato.
The Italian news outlet has claimed that the Bianconeri are keeping tabs on the striker, who is often referred to as the ‘little Edinson Cavani’ in his homeland.
The reigning Serie A champions were offered the opportunity to sign Ardaiz in the summer, but his lack of senior international caps and non-EU status meant that Max Allegri’s men were unsuccessful in winning the race to land him.
Juve are now in competitions with Premier League heavyweights Liverpool and Manchester City, La Liga title rivals Real Madrid and Barcelona, and Portuguese club Porto as the group duke it out to acquire the services of one of the most coveted young players on the planet.
Ardaiz netted three goals in 10 senior appearances for Uruguayan outfit Danubio last season, and his undoubted ability was quickly snapped up by Belgian team Royal Antwerpen on loan following a permanent £1m move to Danubio’s fellow Uruguayan side Tanque Sisley.
Juventus could return for Ardaiz’s signature in the January window if they so desire, but much will depend on whether they can immediately loan him out to another Italian top flight club to give him a taster of just how much of a step up European football is from his days in Montevideo.
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One area of weakness that Juve will call on Ardaiz to address, however, is his apparent hot-headedness. The forward became embroiled in a heated fight with Liverpool’s Under-17 side recently, and he would need to curb that temperament if he was to become a world star with Allegri’s side.