Juventus sporting director Fabio Paratici has revealed the behind-the-scenes story of Cristiano Ronaldo‘s move to Turin and the Old Lady’s hesitation to sign Inter‘s Mauro Icardi.
Everything kicked off when the Portuguese forward’s agent Jorge Mendes expressed the player’s wish to move from Real Madrid to Juventus, after last year’s Champions League game between the two clubs.
“When we played in Madrid, Mendes came in and I told him ‘Cristiano [Ronaldo] scored incredible goals’,” Paratici revealed to La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“He looked at me and replied ‘you will not believe it, but he wants to come to Juventus and remember that this is less strange than you think, we’ll talk about it’.”
The two men met again to finalise Joao Cancelo‘s move from Valencia to Juventus and the Portuguese agent insisted that Ronaldo was willing to move to the Serie A champions.
“Mendes looked at me and this time it was clear that he was serious,” the director added.
“[Mendes said] ‘remember the other time, you’ll see that Ronaldo is leaving Real Madrid.’
“[Mendes said] ‘I’m telling you clearly that the player wants to only go to Juve, as he only goes to the historical teams and he has never played in Italy, so he also wants to win the Italian title’.”
“I told him to let me think a few days and then I’d give him an answer and I didn’t say no, [because] otherwise he would have tried another team.”
“Returning from the meeting, I thought about [Gonzalo] Higuain, who would obviously leave.
“I knew that Cristiano Ronaldo is a star who opens a lot of doors, in a sporting, commercial and globalisation sense.”
Paratici went on to reveal that Juventus considered signing Icardi, but hesitated to move for Inter‘s striker as he wasn’t their first target.
“That would have led to a major drama,” he admitted.
“But obviously he wasn’t our primary objective.”