In Focus: Southampton must stay strong as Juventus eye Cedric

According to reports in the printed version of Portuguese newspaper Record, via Sport Witness, Juventus have opened talks with Southampton over the possible signing of Cedric Soares as they look for a replacement for Dani Alves.

What’s the word, then?

Well, the Serie A champions are looking for a right-back with Alves reported to be on the verge of linking up with Pep Guardiola again at Manchester City, and Record, via Sport Witness, say that the Old Lady have enquired about Cedric’s asking price.

The communication certainly wouldn’t have been welcomed by Saints as they look to avoid another summer exodus of their top stars, and it remains to be seen what their reply was, or whether Juventus will submit an offer for the 25-year-old.

How good has Cedric been for Southampton?

He has been very good.

Saints needed a decent right-back to come into the club when they sold Nathaniel Clyne to Liverpool in 2015, and they certainly got one in the shape of Cedric.

Even though the right-back was sometimes second choice to Cuco Martina at times during his first season at St Mary’s, there was little doubt that he was Claude Puel’s first choice – when he was available – last term.

The 25-year-old made 34 appearances in all competitions for the south coast outfit and provided three assists, but he is still yet to find the net for the club.

His attacking style of play and defensive qualities mean that he is a hugely important player for Southampton at both ends of the pitch.

Would they be willing to sell him?

They would rather not, of course.

With the likes of Virgil van Dijk and Ryan Bertrand both being linked with moves away this summer, it would be a huge risk to sell a third player in the first choice back four if the aforementioned duo do go.

While Cedric will have aspirations to win titles and trophies, Southampton certainly hold all of the aces as the player has three years left on his contract.

In addition, they would ask for a sizeable transfer fee considering the right-back won Euro 2016 and is currently keeping Nelson Semedo – who is a £35m target for Manchester United – out of the national side at the Confederations Cup in Russia.

What’s the verdict, then?

Well, it could all depend on what the player wants if a deal does arrive, but Southampton will be confident that they will get good money for Cedric if he does go to Italy.