Juve, Romero and all the unclear affairs with Atalanta. Paratici: ‘Agnelli will fix it later’

“Collaboration and partnership relationships” between Juventus and teams such as Atalanta, Sampdoria, Sassuolo, Empoli and Udinese opens up scenarios that “the loyalty of sporting competition is in danger”. This was supported by the Turin prosecutors in their investigation, after having revealed an opaque scenario in terms of business and relationships. Andthe Romero case is emblematic: the Argentine defender was bought by Juventus in July 2019 for 26 million euros and left on loan at Genoa, only to then move directly to Atalanta in the summer of 2020 with the two-year loan formula of 4 million and a ransom set at 16 million. The operation had been overseen by Juventus sporting director Fabio Paratici, who brought Romero to Tottenham in August 2021 in exchange for 50 million euros. In an interception of 30 July 2021 Paratici is on the phone with Luca Percassi, CEO of Atalanta, and is pushing for an agreement: «There is a player who pays 16 million and sells it after one day for 50!». Strange behavior for someone who has just been hired by the English club, but Percassi takes time and sets up a meeting with Andrea Agnelli to find an agreement with Juve on the redemption of Cristian Romero and on the loan of Demiral to “discount the loan from my credits”. Paratici reassures him (“Andrea is someone who will settle down later”) and explains that “last year we had to find the money and therefore we had to sell Romero even if it wasn’t at the right price”.

On August 1 Percassi (not investigated) called Agnelli and the Juventus president explained that «yesu a number of elements that we have, I have to stand still right now because we have Consob, Guardia di Finanza and whatever they are looking at us (…) over the last two years. So I would like to close this stuff here and then go back to sorting out the various situations, aware of what we have». The operation closed on August 2 after the meeting and Percassi explained to Paratici that Agnelli “behaved well, he confirmed everything to me”. Thus the double deal goes through: Romero moves to Tottenham (“he overpaid him”, Cherubini will say to a television journalist) and Demiral leaves Turin for Bergamo in exchange for 2.5 million for the loan and 20 million for the buyout. Between Juve and Atalanta there was already the previous one by Dejan Kulusevski (now at Tottenham) paid 35 million plus 9 in bonuses in January 2020: troppi for the bianconeri and so a few months later they sold the young Simone Muratore to the nerazzurri for 7 million. Paratici to the Consob inspectors speaks of a “moral commitment” to be paid by Atalanta, but there is a private agreement in which Percassi promises to buy a Juventus player for 3 million euros. A “side-letter” also compares Romero’s move to Tottenham with the need to have guarantees in the event of the London club failing to buy out. Percassi in an interception of 4 August 2021 will say “I will never be able to get that letter out there, because we have to go to court, it turns out that I made a false balance”

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