Stars bid adios to sinking ship Juventus
Trouble for disgraced Italian super club Juventus deepens with each day and each new headline about the latest star to abandon the club.india Updated: Jul 22, 2006 15:13 IST
The funereal air hanging over disgraced Italian super club Juventus deepens with each day and each new headline about the latest star to abandon the sinking ship.
Fabio Cannavaro, Lilian Thuram, Emerson, Gianluca Zambrotta, Patrick Vieira -- the list grows as players seek their fortunes elsewhere after the club's relegation to second division for its role in the match-fixing scandal that rocked Italian football.
Italy's richest club have been forced to sell its expensive big names as relegation and a 30-point deduction means they will not get back into the first division for another two seasons.
Fiorentina and Lazio, the two other Serie A clubs kicked down to Serie B, have so far made no announcements about transfers despite their ambitions being hobbled by deductions of seven and 12 points respectively next season.
Inter Milan, who were not implicated in the scandal, are making eyes at Fiorentina striker Luca Toni, who has made clear he is looking for the exit despite the assurances of the Della Valle brothers who control the club.
And AC Milan, who were docked 15 points while being allowed to remain in first division, have admitted their squad's moral is at rock bottom, sports daily Gazzetta dello Sport reported on Friday.
Yet the club claims it is still feeling expansive and has signed two players from Serie B side Ascoli and teenage midfielder Yohann Gourcuff from French club Rennes.
AC Milan could still challenge despite the points handicap, declared coach Carlo Ancelotti.
After World Cup-winning captain Cannavero and Brazilian Emerson joined former Juve coach Fabio Capello at Real Madrid, Juventus on Friday announced defenders Zambrotta and Thuram were sold for 11.4 million euros and five million euros respectively to Barcelona.
French international Patrick Vieira was bound for Inter Milan under a 13-million euro deal, a big discount on the 20 million euros Juventus paid Arsenal for the defender just a year ago, according to press reports.
Meanwhile, it seems a matter of time before French striker David Trezeguet and Sweden's Zlatan Ibrahimovic find fresh partners, with Corriere dello Sport reporting that AS Roma had made a substantial offer for the Frenchman.
The club believed the 28-year-old, who missed his shot in the penalty shootout that handed Italy its fourth World Cup, could be their "man of the moment", the newspaper said.
However, Trezeguet's agent said, "For David it's not a question of a change of scene... He doesn't see any obstacle to going to Lyon because he lived a long time in France."
"Inter would allow him to stay close to Turin while in favour of Real are his wife's Spanish origins and his good relationship with Capello."
Even World Cup hero Gianluigi Buffon, the goalkeeper who made a great save on a powerful header from French icon Zinedine Zidane in extra time in the World Cup final, is believed to have a foot on the gangplank.
Even though Buffon's agent this week said the 28-year-old was prepared to stick with Juve in Serie B, he was understood to be in negotiations with AC Milan, Gazzetta dello Sport said.