High-flying Valencia have been credited with an interest in Juventus midfielder Stefano Sturaro, who has been attracting attention from Premier League outfits Everton and Newcastle United according to his agent.
Sturaro has been afforded precious little game-time by Juve boss Massimiliano Allegri this season, starting just four matches in Serie A and the Champions League as the Bianconeri battle to keep hold of their title and aim to improve on the performance in Europe's premier club competition last season, when they were soundly beaten in the final by Real Madrid.
Sturaro's chances of establishing himself in Juve's starting line-up are rather slim due to the competition he faces in Turin. Sami Khedira, Miralem Pjanic, Blaise Matuidi and Claudio Marchisio are vying for a central midfield position, while young Rodrigo Bentancur is also in the frame for minutes after joining the Italian champions in the summer.
Valencia, currently five points behind Barcelona at the summit of La Liga, are all too aware of Sturaro's situation and are making an effort to lure the midfielder to the Mestalla Stadium, according to SuperDeporte.
Valencia boss Marcelino is keen to freshen up his squad with additions in January as he strives to sustain a title bid and Los Che have already made contact with Juventus over a deal for the 24-year-old, whose contract expires in 2021, but their desire to sign Sturaro on loan until the end of the season seems to have fallen on deaf ears, with the Bianconeri preferring to sanction a permanent transfer.
Interest in Sturaro from clubs such as Valencia is welcomed by the Italian's agent Stefano Volpi, who spoke recently about Everton and Newcastle's interest in his client.
"It's pleasing that during each transfer window, Stefano is in demand in Italy and abroad," Volpi told Il Bianconero last month. "In the Premier League, for example, the attention tends to come from clubs like Everton and Newcastle."
"But honestly, this is very premature, he is thinking in continue to do well to Juventus and wants to enter the third year with [Juve].
Everton manager Sam Allardyce stated last week that a new striker is his number one priority for the January transfer window, while Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez is desperate for quality reinforcements in the winter as he bids to keep the Magpies in the top-flight.
It remains to be seen if Everton or Newcastle's apparent interest is followed up with an offer from either side, but Benitez and Allardyce will go head-to-head on Wednesday (13 December) when the Toffees travel to St James' Park in search of their fourth win in five matches.