When Juventus signed Southampton’s Carlos Alcaraz on loan with an option to buy at €49.5m, a very short timer started ticking down.

That’s because the Italian club would only ever spend that much on a player if he was potentially world-class in their eyes, which hasn’t been the case to date with the Argentine.

Gazzetta dello Sport cover the Southampton loanee’s situation on Thursday, and explain his ‘future is in the balance’ as things stand.

He hasn’t been helped by an injury that has kept him away from the field for about a month, making his comeback for the final minute on Tuesday against Lazio in the Italian Cup.

To date, he has only made five appearances, with one as a starter, which is why Juventus ‘will evaluate him’ between now and the end of the season to ‘decide what to do’.

What is clear is that they won’t spend €49.5m for him when the campaign comes to a close, but they could ask Southampton to renew the loan for an entire season.

The Saints’ answer to that could likely depend on whether they get promoted or not, but ‘everything will depend’ on the next nine games (10 if they reach the cup final) in the next two months.

Down his end, Alcaraz wants to remain at Juventus, and ‘will do everything to try and convince’ them that he is worth keeping, hoping to be given chances to impress by Max Allegri.