The 28-year-old, Alessandro Matri, has been used only sparingly for the Bianconeri this season, starting only 7 league games out of a possible 27. He had been linked with a move out of Juventus during the January transfer window, but stayed to fight for his place in the side.
The Italian international initially joined Juve on loan from Cagliari for the final six months of the 2010-11 season and had a big impact, scoring 9 league goals in 16 appearances. Such form entitled Juventus to make his loan switch permanent and Matri repaid the faith shown by his employers by being the joint top scorer for the Italian side and helping his side capture the Scudetto undefeated.
However, he managed only 10 goals last season and has subsequently fallen down the pecking order this season. Manager Antonio Conte has preferred Mirko Vucinic in attack and Juve currently sit at the top of the pile in Serie A, 6 points clear of second placed Napoli with eleven league games left to play.
Juventus are in the market for a prolific striker who can score 20 goals a season for them and have been linked with Liverpool hitman Luis Suarez in recent months. This paves a way out of Juventus for Matri, who was reportedly being offered to Arsenal in the January transfer window.
Arsenal are short in offensive options and are themselves on the lookout for a new striker. Gervinho has struggled up front and Walcott hasn’t been convincing. Giroud is having a decent debut season for the Gunners but has struggled lately. Signing a 28-year-old doesn’t fit into Wenger’s transfer policy but he has been criticized for buying too many inexperienced youngsters and it is expected that Wenger may bring in some experienced faces in the summer to have a more meaningful title challenge next season.
Arsenal are once again planning to swoop for the forward in the summer, but Matri has said he would like to remain at the club and fight for his place. He spoke to Tuttosport where he said, “It’s clear that I want to play in every game, but I’ve always felt like the club have backed me, that they have always been close to me. That’s a nice thing for players who are not used all of the time.”
He added, “When I’ve been called into action I’ve been ready and the side hasn’t missed who I have replaced. If I am made to feel like an important player then I would prefer to stay at Juventus, rather than join another club who could perhaps offer me more playing time.”
However, he accepted the reality of the situation and admitted he might be forced to leave if Juve continue to leave him out of the side. “If the time comes where you start to lose faith then it is better to change clubs. Yet that moment hasn’t arrived yet. If it does then it will be me who asks to leave.”
Arsenal are rumoured to be willing to snap up Matri if his situation with the Old Lady does deteriorate, but a player who is 28 and not guaranteed first team football at Juventus seems a risky investment.