Juventus coach Luigi Delneri has been defending his exuberant off-season transfer dealings.
While Serie A rivals AC Milan were relatively quiet in the transfer market until the last few days when they landed two coups, bringing superstars Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Robinho to the club, Juve’s policy seemed more one of quantity than quality.
Delneri brought in 10 players while letting the likes of playmaker Diego return to Germany, although he did offload veterans David Trezeguet and Jonathan Zebina.
Although his acquisitions included five full Italy internationals, he was overshadowed by Milan’s dealings.
But Delneri insists he is happy with his buys.
“The club did what it could bearing in mind our technical and economic needs,” he told Friday’s La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“And that’s fine by me because I have a young squad with cover in every position.”
Milan spent 42 million euros on their two marquee signings, far less than Juve spent in total but Delneri argued that his rivals tactic does not guarantee success.
“Milan bought two stars that no one imagined they could but only time will tell who did well (in the transfer market) and who didn’t,” he added.
“I remember a year ago that everyone was eulogising over Juve’s buys. After the first few games they seemed to be able to compete with Inter but then we all know what happened.
“Who guarantees that a star will resolve all your problems? We’ve already got quality given that we’re full of internationals.”
Despite winning their first four games, Juve slumped to their worst ever season in Serie A with records numbers of defeats and goals conceded last time out.
Juventus actually wanted to buy even more players but were snubbed by Antonio Di Natale, Mario Borriello and Georgia centre-back Kakha Kaladze.
Although, that’s not how Delneri sees things.
“Calm down, no one turned us down. Di Natale had already rejected Napoli in a life-choice because he wanted to stay in Udine.
“Borriello preferred another team for contractual reasons while for Kaladze it’s something else altogether.
“But all the others came here running like (Fabio) Quagliarella, showing that they love the shirt.”
Delneri insists Juve will be aiming to qualify for the Champions League this season and he brushed off the scepticism surrounding him, particularly from fans expecting a bigger name at the club’s helm.
This is the biggest job of Delneri’s career. Prior to joining Juve his best achievement as a coach was guiding Sampdoria to fourth place last season.
“Even (Nelson) Mandela was suspicious when he was freed because he was afraid he’d be killed.
“To tell the truth I’ve felt a lot of warmth around me. But who’s sceptical?
“I’d say they’re right because they don’t know me, even if my career numbers are on my side.
“Not least given that last year when I didn’t finish last but 12 points ahead of Juventus.”
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