Juventus Sporting Director Fabio Paratici was instrumental in completing one of the deals of the summer when he brought in Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid. The Italian has now revealed how the move came about, as well as, which player they turned down in favour of the Portuguese.
“It all started when we played vs Real Madrid in the Champions League,” Paratici told Italian publication Gazzetta dello Sport.
“I met [agent] Jorge Mendes, like I always do and he told me: you may not believe it but if Cristiano leaves Real he’d want to join Juventus.
“Then I started to study the move. During the talks to close a deal for the phenomenal [Joao] Cancelo, Mendes looked at me and said: remember what we talked about?
“‘If you want him, he is ready’. Then, in our next meeting, I asked Mendes: so what figures are we talking about?
“He replied: this is the salary and this is the transfer fee. So I told him I would get back to him in a few days, because if I had said no, he would’ve contacted other clubs.”
The Bianconeri Sporting Director was left with a big decision at hands, one which he kept close to his chest. Paratici reveals that he realized that signing Ronaldo would mean the end of the road for Gonzalo Higuain and also accepted that the Portuguese star would open up several new commercial and technical channels.
“I met with Andrea (Agnelli) and Pavel (Nedved) and we all agreed. We must give the entire environment a shock. A positive shock that can project Juventus to a new level.
“So, I told Agnelli and Nedved: I have an idea…but it is yet to be evaluated, so do not laugh and do not throw yourselves out of the window.
“There are two ways to galvanise the team: one which I cannot disclose now and the other is to sign Cristiano Ronaldo.”
The other way which Paratici talked about, was to sign Inter Milan’s Mauro Icardi, a move he admitted would have ‘unleashed a fiasco’.
“The first way? It was to buy Icardi and unleash an incredible fiasco or we can sign Cristiano Ronaldo.
“I told them: Mendes told me to tell you that if Juve wants Cristiano and meets his demands, he is going to come to Juventus. He does not want anyone else other than Juventus.”
Paratici’s proposal to Pavel Nedved and Andrea Agnelli ultimately received the thumbs up, and he ended up bringing in Ronaldo from Real Madrid.