Juventus sporting director Fabio Paratici agrees with the suggestion that more swap deals will emerge out of the COVID-19 outbreak, bringing football and the NBA closer – something that affects Juve directly, given their cashflow issues.
Juventus expecting an uneasy few years
With the 2019-20 season still on hold, cashflow is proving a serious issue for clubs worldwide. Paratici expects coronavirus to take its toll on transfer fees, which are expected to decrease in value over the next few years at least.
As quoted by Football Italia via Tuttosport, the 56-year-old said: “There will be many swap deals, a situation that will bring football closer to NBA. It’s likely that some clubs, for example those in Germany, can benefit from this general crisis situation through [Germany] having a more stable underlying economy than the others.”
There are no transfer fees in NBA, with player movement dictated through trades or as free agents once contracts expire and they’re free to move across the 30-team league.
The notion that transfer fees will suffer is something that has been echoed by Borussia Dortmund in recent days, with the ongoing Jadon Sancho transfer saga set to reach its conclusion at some stage this summer – whether he stays at BVB, joins one of Spain’s giants or returns to home comforts in England with a host of different clubs interested.
Paulo Dybala was expected to join Tottenham last August, but complications over his image rights meant the deal broke down at the last minute. Although Juve themselves were reluctant to sell, the Argentine’s value and their cashflow issues meant their hand was forced. A few weeks before, they let Moise Kean join Spurs’ league rivals Everton.
Juve’s Marcelo interest reignited
Elsewhere, Spanish reports claim the Serie A champions were close to agreeing a four-year deal with Real Madrid fullback Marcelo this summer before the COVID-19 outbreak.
According to La Stampa, Juve officials were expected to meet with Marcelo in Madrid. Maurizio Sarri is an admirer of the 31-year-old, who would provide priceless experience to a backline who downgraded by swapping Joao Cancelo for Danilo last August.
Details regarding a transfer fee and wages were not disclosed, though it’s not the first time he has been linked with a move to Turin – his name was discussed in 2018 when PSG reportedly a €60m bid rejected for Alex Sandro, with Marcelo identified as a replacement for his compatriot in that position.
At the time, I wrote:
Real Madrid left-back Marcelo, who himself has been at the Bernabeú for 11-and-a-half years, is reportedly being lined up as a potential option to sign for the Bianconeri. The potential move is made even more possible given his long-time teammate, Cristiano Ronaldo, shocked many by sealing a €100m move to Turin last month.
Marcelo lost his starting berth to new signing Ferland Mendy this season and with the approval of close friend Ronaldo in Turin, agreeing a deal to venture elsewhere to try a new challenge away from Spain makes sense from his perspective.
Developing story update: Juve players agree to cut wages
According to ESPN and other media, Juventus players and boss Sarri have collectively agreed to a four-month wage reduction which will save them a reported €90m.
Club captain Giorgio Chiellini is believed to have led players’ negotiations, as Italian media claim Cristiano Ronaldo had agreed to sacrifice €3.8m of his yearly wage to ease their financial burden.
In a statement on Saturday, the club said:
“The economic and financial effects of the understanding reached are positive for about €90m ($100.26m) for the 2019-2020 financial year. The understanding provides for the reduction of the compensation for an amount equal to the monthly payments of March-June 2020.”
Should the current season’s matches be rescheduled, the Club will negotiate in good faith conditional increases of compensation according to the actual resumption and finalisation of official competitions. Juventus would like to thank the players and coach for their commitment at a difficult time for everyone.”
Personal agreements with Sarri and the players individually will be finalised in the weeks to come. Three first-team players have tested positive for the virus: defender Daniele Rugani, midfielder Blaise Matuidi and forward Paulo Dybala.
The agreement comes at a time when Europe’s leading clubs are having to slash their wage bills due to matches being postponed or played behind closed doors. Italy has seen the highest number of deaths in any country from the virus so far.