Juventus ended up making £89m profit on the Frenchman as he was shipped back to Old Trafford having emerged as one of the top midfielders in world football, and it remains a transfer masterstroke from Paratici. The experienced Frenchman started off as the club’s first choice left-back before helping to usher in a new era. The Brazilian would go on to become their first choice for years. The move was a complete hit – as he went on to score 21 times in his first season – becoming their top sharpshooter as they won a third straight title as well as the Italian Super Cup. The big one. With Juventus still desperate to win the Champions League and hungry to sign a top tier player who could lead them to Euro glory, an opportunity presented itself with Cristiano Ronaldo looking to leave the Bernabeu. Winning the Champions League again will remain one of his main goals, as well as closing the gap to former teammate Dani Alves as the most decorated player.
The only deal Paratici won’t have fond memories of is controversial forward Dani Osvaldo, who scored just three times in a loan deal to forget. And in defence was another veteran costing nothing as Barcelona right-back Dani Alves, hailed as one of the best in the world, arrived in Turin on another free. Elsewhere, Juve strengthened in defence with Mattia De Sciglio to replace outgoing right back Alves, while they also splashed out £27m on PSG midfielder Blaise Matuidi. This kit was worn right in the middle of Lazio’s three years at the top, and the season they clinched European Cup Winners’ Cup success in Birmingham. The Croatian was one of three signings up front – the second was Simone Zaza, who the club had signed years earlier in a co-ownership deal before he was sent to Sassuolo. Paratici found the spiritual successor to Llorente, a big target man who could hold up play and also fire the club towards a big goal tally, as Mario Mandzukic came in from Atletico Madrid.
And veteran forward Nicholas Anelka also flopped after returnign to his former club for the season from Shanghai Shenua, not registering a goal and playing twice. Tottenham’s hunt for a new manager might be a way off completion, but a deal for a new technical director is on the cards – with former Juventus chief Fabio Paratici said to be on his way to north London. His former wife, Claudia Villafane, came with Maradona’s daughters Dalma and Gianinna. Paratici continued his knack of free transfers as goalkeeper Neto came in from Fiorentina, and pulled off another coup by snapping up midfielder Sami Khedira from Real Madrid. Real Madrid exercised their option to bring Alvaro Morata back to the club, while Pogba departed Turin for his United homecoming. The club exercised their option to sign him back, and he scored eight times before being loaned out to West Ham and eventually joining Valencia.
Barca qualified for the final with the win, taking on Valencia to retain the trophy. Defence was also a priority with Paratici bringing in Joao Cancelo from Valencia for around £35m. Paratici would also bolster the defence – with Stephan Lichtsteiner coming in from Lazio for £9m – with the Swiss star going on to become a stalwart for the club, playing more than 250 times. However, with more than £200m spent, you would have expected a lot more from the players who came in. Despite pulling off a deal as good as Pogba’s one, Paratici got more wrong than he got right. Now known as the free transfer master, he began to show his aptitude for a bargain deal as two players came in on a Bosman and two arrived on loan. With Liverpool’s versatile star Emre Can also being snapped up for free, it turned out to be a memorable transfer window for Juve. Juve finished bottom of their Champions League group and had two players sent off in each of their last two matches, while in Serie A they missed out on the title to Roma on the final day of the season.
Coman played 20 times in his debut year as he introduced himself to the world, before being loaned out to Bayern for the next two seasons. But far from playing second fiddle, Llorente was a crucial member of Conte’s squad as he netted 18 times in all competitions, playing his part with 45 appearances. From the outset, Paratici’s second year at the club looks like a misfire as far as transfers are concerned. Ramsey, however, has proven to be one of Paratici’s worst signings – putting him on £400,000 a week wages, with the Welshman struggling to justify his eye-watering weekly salary. This third-choice kit, one block of garish green from head-to-toe, except for the tiny hints of their regular colours, was not the best way to signal their return to Serie A after a year in the second tier. Known for his bargains and loan deals, the 48-year-old played a crucial role in the club’s dominance in Serie A while keeping costs down. Meanwhile, Juan Cuadrado was a smart loan from Chelsea due to his versatility, while Alex Sandro came in from Porto for £23m to battle with Evra over the left back spot. Santiago Solari’s side, meanwhile, is third in La Liga.
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