Christmas only comes once a year to Cartilage Free Captain, if by "Christmas" you mean "stupid transfer rumors" and "once a year" means "always and forever." Today's rumor comes from Forza Italian Football, reporting on a story from Sport Mediaset, which is reporting that Juventus is set to swap striker Sebastian Giovinco for Erik Lamela in January. The original article is in Italian and appears to be behind a paywall, which makes this even more ridiculous.
Giovinco is a 27-year old Italian striker who, despite earning a number of caps with the Italian national team, has only played in four matches for the Old Lady this season. He's apparently decent enough, but for whatever reason has found himself well down the depth chart for Juventus. His nickname is "Atomic Ant," which admittedly is pretty cool. He's also linked with the rest of the usual suspects whenever you discuss a Tottenham transfer target: Arsenal, Liverpool, and Napoli.
The idea of Juventus selling Giovinco is not far-fetched at all. They were reportedly trying to offload him all last summer with an asking price of £10m, and his contract expires at the end of this season, meaning that whoever wants him could probably get him for a fairly cheap fee, perhaps around the £6-7m range. Also, Juventus has Domenico Berardi coming back from loan next season, and it's hard to see that he'll get any more playing time next year. £7m for an Italy national team striker maybe isn't too shabby.
Where the rumor goes off the rails is where it discusses the possibility of a swap for Erik Lamela. Not only does this rumor preclude an "option to buy" deal (which is phenomenally dumb), even with Lamela being a little torpid for Spurs this season he's still a 22-year old with an enormous amount of upside. If Spurs were to cash in on Lamela, which they aren't, you better believe it wouldn't be as a loan-to-buy to Juventus for Giovinco. They'd get the cold, hard cash, and probably lots of it. Finally, it seems as though Giovinco is debating whether to sign a contract extension with Juventus.
Spurs may be keeping an eye on Giovinco. A decent Italian striker with an expiring contract? Sounds like a Levy special! But don't believe for a second that Spurs are going to send Lamela the other way.