In response to the failed swap between Juventus’ Mirko Vucinic and Inter’s Fredy Guarin and yesterday’s communique by Inter, Juventus Sporting Director General Giuseppe Marotta held a press conference today.
Here it is in integral form, as reported by TuttoJuve.com and offered to you in English:
“Good evening. Thank you for adhering to our invite at an unusual hour. I would have rather not been here but I feel compelled, given what has transpired in the last few days regarding the missed swap between Vucinic and Guarin, but specifically about Inter’s communique sent out yesterday precisely at 18:48 when [Juventus’ brass] was in Rome, thus we were only able to provide a telegraphic response. We defined Inter’s communique disconcerting because it contained falsehoods, which necessitate my presence to safeguard Juventus’ image as well as those of some of the actors involved, the two players included.
The communique mentions that Inter decided not to proceed negotiations with Juventus. In reality, this negotiation was already defined among all parties, verbally. In life there are unwritten rules that must be absolutely respected. Agreements had been reached between Juventus management, represented by me, and Inter’s management, represented by GM Fassone. To support this thesis, president Agnelli tried repeatedly to get in touch with his colleague, president Thohir yesterday. In fact, at 10:48, Agnelli received a text message from him confirming his definitive assent to the operation.
Then, as you are well aware, the entire deal fell through and we still don’t understand why. A statement by Fassone mentions “the environment” as a motive, the employment of this term I find very odd in calciomercato vernacular. At any rate, as I mentioned earlier, the principal reason is the lack of correctness toward the protagonists, namely the two players. One of which, we know very well: our own Vucinic, a great protagonist, a serious professional who contributed with his performances to help us conquer two scudetti.
What’s more clamorous is that the second in which a player empties their locker like Vucinic did, they have completed their transfer. It’s the first time, for a person like me who has facilitated transfers for over 30 years now, to witness something of this kind. This situation upset in the absolute sense both Vucinic and Guarin. With the latter, we had already defined a contract, after obtaining Inter’s authorization to speak to the player.
Today, among other things, I have read some rumours about Vucinic’s medical, which I must set straight: Vucinic in the last two seasons has made a total of 78 appearances in official matches, which demonstrates his suitability and physical fitness”.
After this protracted negotiation, can Vucinic go to Inter?
In the current state, I don’t think so. President Agnelli repeatedly tried to contact Thohir requesting clarification, since Inter’s management explicitly told us that the deal had his assent, which was confirmed by a text message that Thohir himself sent Agnelli. At this moment, we don’t have concrete elements in place for an eventual transfer of Vucinic to Inter.
Is Vucinic on the transfer market or not? How does he feel?
We met with Vucinic this morning and expressed our regret, and explained fully why this transfer did not take place. Clearly, he is dejected, because let’s not forget they are young men not used to these types of life situations. We have encouraged him, telling him that Juventus will never abandon him, because Juventus is appreciative of what he has done for our club. The fact that this window of opportunity had opened is because toward the end of December Inter itself asked for authorization to talk to him. As I’ve always said, our players are part of a solid group and only if the player himself asks to leave we will try to place him. In this specific situation we met Inter to explore cash options, which we couldn’t agree on. Therefore, to facilitate this transfer, we identified Guarin as our trade bait. But Inter initiated the trade.
Are Inter’s justifications limited to Fassone’s statement?
“I don’t want to talk about Inter’s internal relationships. Whatever their governance model, it didn’t facilitate the deal. Therefore, I will be careful before entering into another negotiation with Inter, because there is a lack of seriousness”.
Inter’s fans rebelled because they said that Juventus would have given a lemon in exchange for Guarin. Did you think that you had made a deal that was more advantageous to Juventus?
No, absolutely not. We’ve always said that this transfer window was for us to take advantage of unique opportunities. As I said before, Inter approached us first for Vucinic. We gave our assent. At the moment in which we could not agree on a cash amount, we tried to balance with a player. We held the gun to nobody’s head. No one thought that giving them Vucinic would be giving them a lemon. Vucinic is still today a great player and if he will eventually be transferred it’s only because there has been an increase in quality among our attackers. Therefore Vucinic has found increased competition with less possibility to play”.
Are there chances that Vucinic will go to England? Would Vucinic’s departure preclude the arrival of another forward?
“Vucinic is a Juventus player, therefore we will evaluate the situation. We don’t necessarily consider him a former Juventus player. He is part of this group. Surely, in this moment his outlook is quite bleak, therefore today we gave him a day off. Perhaps we will do the same tomorrow, because this is a heavy psychological hit considering that he held a medical, emptied his locker, and was psychologically prepared to transfer teams”.
Do you expect an official rapprochement with Inter? What needs to happen so you both return to the negotiating table?
“What needs to happen is that at the very least Inter’s maximum exponent, namely Thohir, speak with Andrea Agnelli to explain what happened, because there are facts in the communique which are unfounded and harmful to the image of both clubs. I don’t understand what Fassone was referring to when he said that environmental factors weighed on the negotiation, but this is the response that we received”.