Juventus sporting director Maurizio Arrivabene gave an in-depth interview to Il Corriere dello Sport (via Football Italia) touching on a number of different topics related to the club, and it certainly made for interesting reading.
Despite the Bianconeri crashing out at the the Round of 16 stage of the Champions League once again, Arrivabene seemed to indicate that he was not dissatisfied.
“This season’s target was to qualify for the Round of 16 and finish in the top four. The elimination was disappointing but didn’t change our plans.
“We start a new chapter, we have a three-year plan where we need to balance sporting and economic results.”
Regarding the incoming transfers in the January mercato, the director talked about why the club pulled the trigger on the two key players.
“We signed Vlahovic and Zakaria thinking about this and next season. There were movements of foreign clubs around Dusan and we thought that had we waited for the summer, we wouldn’t be as competitive as English and Spanish clubs,” explained Arrivabene.
“We verified if it was possible to sign him immediately and how we could make the investment sustainable with potential sales. We made an official bid for Fiorentina and got the green light from them and the player’s agents.
“It’s not true that we had already reached an agreement with his representative. That’s fake news. We only made our move following Fiorentina’s green light. The player only wanted Juventus. If we had agreed with the player before talking to Fiorentina, we would have been in the same situation, and Fiorentina could have raised the price. We followed the rules.”
How about the way Cristiano Ronaldo exited the club when it looked like he would be here for the whole season.
“I saw a motivated Ronaldo on the first days of the pre-season. I thought he’d stay, but then he took a different decision and we know what happened.”
His thoughts on club chairman Andrea Agnelli who appears to be focusing entirely on the ill-fated Super League, is it a distraction from Juventus’ affairs?
“Not at all. It’s an issue that we can’t abandon and he keeps all of us informed. He lives Juventus totally, he arrives at the headquarters at 7.30 AM and is the last one to leave in the evening.”
How about the news now that Paulo Dybala might end up leaving the club on a free transfer this summer despite it looking like they two sides were on the same page.
“True, we had reached an agreement, but things changed.
“We had a €400m cash injection which was needed to fix the balance sheet, not for the market. We made new assessments based on four factors: technical aspect, number of appearances, contract length and economic value of a single footballer.
“It wasn’t the day before, that’s what the media said. We decided to postpone the meeting because the coach wanted the team to be focused before the games against Genoa and Villarreal. Nothing is decided yet, let’s see what happens.”