For the time being, there's a resolution in the Domenico Berardi transfer situation. And, for the time being, Berardi will still be a Sassuolo player after the Neroverdi bought the second half of the 20-year-old striker's contract outright from Juventus on Thursday to resolve one of Italy's most notable co-ownership deals still out there.
But, come 12 months from now, it is expected to be a very different story.
First, the details of the deal, from Juventus' official website:
Juventus Football Club S.p.A. announces that it has finalised an agreement with U.S. Sassuolo Calcio S.r.l. for the termination in favour of Sassuolo of the current player sharing agreement (pursuant to art. 102 bis N.O.I.F.) concerning the registration rights of the player Domenico Berardi for a consideration of € 10 million to be paid in 4 years. The economic effect is positive for about € 7.3 million in 2014/2015 financial year.
"But where's the buyback option???" they will say. At least in terms of the official announcement, there is no word about Juventus having first refusal when it comes to Berardi status a year from now. But this is the same kind of thing that the two clubs did with Simone Zaza 12 months ago when the striker was bought outright by Sassuolo and is now expected by everybody to join Juventus this summer.
It's not an official thing that's written into the announcement of the deal because that's something Juventus never does outside of the Álvaro Morata transfer from Real Madrid last summer. Basically, when it comes to what's on the paper of the press release above, it's basically a wink-wink, nod-nod situation where this time next summer we're all sitting here waiting for Juventus to announce a Berardi deal that finally sees him putting on a black and white jersey.
So Juventus gets a little cashflow coming in with this deal and they know for a fact that Berardi will get to play virtually every week he's eligible for in the build-up to the Euros next summer. Everybody gets a fair shake — Sassuolo keeps its best player, Juventus receives some money and Berardi gets the consistent playing time he wouldn't be totally guaranteed this season in Turin.
Ultimately, everybody expects that Berardi will be a Juventus player at some point in time. But just like we told ourselves last summer, we just need to be a little patient when it comes to one of Italy's brightest young talents playing for Juventus.