Before Cristiano Ronaldo completed his €100 million (R1.59 billion) move from Real Madrid to Juventus, it was an Inter Milan forward who was the Bianconeri’s primary transfer target, according to Juve’s sporting director.
Massimiliano Allegri’s side clinched their seventh consecutive Scudetto at the end of the 2017/18 season, but their campaign was marred by the team’s failure to advance beyond the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League, suffering defeat to Los Blancos.
According to Juve’s sporting director Fabio Paratici, the Old Lady were keen on a shake-up of their squad after enduring the disappointment of their Champions League elimination at the hands of the LaLiga giants, with the club initially having sought out Inter striker Mauro Icardi as their primary target.
“We had a meeting, it was early June,” Paratici told Gazzetta dello Sport.
“I had a thought about (Gianluigi) Buffon leaving, the team having won seven championships, and having had a tough Champions League exit. So something had to be done to motivate the squad.
“I met with (Juve chairman) Andrea (Agnelli), (vice chairman) Pavel (Nedved), and we all agreed. We must give the entire environment a shock. A positive shock that can project Juventus over certain limits.
“There are two ways to motivate the team. The first way? It was to buy Icardi and unleash an incredible fiasco, or we can sign Cristiano Ronaldo.”
With rumours circulating linking Argentine star Paulo Dybala with Real, Paratici also revealed that he does not foresee the midfielder leaving the club, and also made the club’s interest in Ajax Amsterdam starlet Matthijs de Ligt public.
“Those who leave are those who want to,” he added.
“I repeat, our squad is difficult to improve. Who do you get that is better than Dybala? It’s difficult to sign (Lionel) Messi. Even with Neymar, I’d have doubts. Dybala is someone who is always there, until the end.
“De Ligt is surely one of the best young players out there and we are following him with great attention.”
Ronaldo has been in prolific form in his debut campaign in Turin, netting 20 goals and assisting a further 11 strikes in 31 games across all competitions for Juventus thus far.
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