Juventus CEO Maurizio Arrivabene in a recent interview with Tuttosport shed light on a number of different topics related to the club, primarily around the transfer process and some big transfers as well.
As previously mentioned on this site, he already indicated that defender Matthijs De Ligt has spoken of his willingness to leave. Arrivabene though is unwilling to let that happen with two years still left on the player’s contract unless all three parties are satisfied, which seems to indicate that Juventus have not received an offer they like.
Cristiano Ronaldo may be long gone from Juve but his shadow remains over the club. What were his thoughts on the forward’s time at Juventus?
“Ronaldo’s potential wasn’t entirely fulfilled because of COVID. It’s a pity, but I am convinced that Juventus are bigger than any player. It’s a club with precise rules, so the team is always more important than single players. There are rules that everyone must respect here, including me.”
A big reason why CR7 was shown the door was because of the new wage structure at the club, with Arrivabene shedding more light on it.
“It’s a matter of blending highs and lows with an idea in mind. If a renewal can become too much of a cost for the idea we have given ourselves on salaries & if the player does not have crazy technical value, then: goodbye and thank you.
“It is useless to hand out high renewal that loads our backs with further costs, just to have one name rather than another. We start with the idea that there is only one name that counts: Juventus.”
How did you Juventus come up with the idea to bring back Paul Pogba from Manchester United?
“We are in talks and things are evolving in a very positive way. It all started from a question: why don’t we sign Pogba?
“The idea, however, is not enough, you always have to put it into practice. You always need to understand if it’s a feasible operation and if it’s sustainable. If the figures make sense, you must present them to the board of directors. We are talking about important players, clearly.
“Pogba’s presence will also be fundamental from a commercial point of view, although my dream is to have an Italian player who is recognised internationally: a Totti, a Del Piero, a Buffon.”
Paulo Dybala has left the club, could he shed more light on the decision made to not offer the Argentine a new contract?
“There was an agreement, but after the cash injection, we decided to stop and think. The agents were aware of the situation and agreed with it. We met again and told them that the terms had changed, so starting from a four-year contract, we opted for a different strategy. Everybody knows who we signed in January, correct?
“However, this hasn’t created any fracture between Dybala and us. The rapport has always been friendly. I hope Dybala will find a team and the satisfaction that he deserves. From our perspective, everything has a start and an end.
“I repeat, Juventus come before everything else. Some players leave a mark, but Juventus will always be more important.”
What part does coach Massimiliano Allegri play in making transfer decisions, and will this be “Allegri’s Juventus”?
“We involve him in all the decisions we make, and so he does. He cares a lot about the club’s strategy. It wasn’t easy for anyone, we had to reduce costs, manage the cash injection and decide the future strategy while he had to build a team.
“Now, we have a united group and we are building something more suitable for him, but no, it’s everyone’s team. It’s the team we projected all together, we are a united group and we are targeting what we decided together. We don’t have just one plan. If you follow the rumours, we will buy and sell everyone.”
Arrivabene has been in the role for a year, what were his thoughts and how does he interact with Sporting Director Federico Cherubini and Vice President Pavel Nedved?
“I admit that this transfer world is fascinating. Sometimes I read names of some players on TV, so I call Federico Cherubini, asking him: ‘Are you in talks with this player?’”
“[He replies] ‘Are you drunk?!’ Jokes aside, he is surprised. Sometimes, transfers lived from inside the club have comic and almost surreal implications.
“People say I’m not competent in football, for example. Well, that’s basically true. I don’t have to be knowledgeable about football, Cherubini has to be, and Pavel has to be, he sits next to me during games and explains a lot of things to me.”
How would he describe his vision for Juventus, and how does it differ from his previous executive role at Ferrari?
“Juve’s goal is to keep the team at the highest level and aim for high goals. We are planning for a Juve that starts from football but expands into other dimensions, we want to go beyond the concept of a club and become a global company.
“Juventus is a team that started locally, expanded nationally, found its position in Europe, and now wants to make the leap to a global level. They are two different stories, Ferrari was basically born global, Juventus can become one.”
Does he feel he is well suited for the role?
“I’m often mistaken for a sports director, but I don’t think I even have the skills to do that. My task, as managing director, is to create a strategy. I thought it was simpler, but it’s a complex system.
“We always try to plan everything, but there is the human factor. We are talking about footballers, not machines. On a sporting level, Cherubini is in charge, my role is to support him & evaluate together an idea that may seem crazy at first.
“In a market operation there is no fixed strategy. We all sit around a table, evaluate numbers: there are those who would like to buy the world & those who are more cautious, but after a few hours of discussion we all share the same approach.”