The new Verón

Diego Simeone’s management career thus far has been marked by one particular trait: all his teams have included one midfielder around whom the side’s play is based, who operates from deep and pulls the strings. At Estudiantes, it was Juan Sebastián Verón. At River Plate, if El Cholo gets his wish, it could soon be the man who was called ‘the new Verón’ – current Juventus midfielder Sergio Almirón.

Almirón, formerly of Newell’s Old Boys, is currently at the disgraced former Italian champions, who bought him from Empoli, but manager Claudio Ranieri hasn’t been overly enamoured of the playmaker, and Juventus are now looking to loan him out in order to keep him in match practice and make sure his transfer value doesn’t depreciate too much from sitting on the bench.

River, who saw their chances of landing Andrés D’Alessandro on loan from Real Zaragoza vanish during the week, face competition for Almirón’s loan from Turkish club Besiktas and the Greeks of Olympiakos. Both the European sides have more financial power, though, so the Millonarios, who in spite of their nickname only have pesos to put against their rivals’ more powerful currencies, will have to hope Almirón’s mind is made up by a return to his homeland and the chance to work under Simeone – who, when he first arrived in Italy seven-and-a-half years ago at Udinese, he said ‘seems to me to be the best player in Argentina.’

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