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chi-lo-fa-il-mercato? and…Is Max coming home?

The first shockwave erupted from Turin last night when news broke of Paratici leaving after 11 years at the club. It came as no major surprise and whilst I am happy to see him go, he deserves due credit for his pivotal part played in our startling success of the last decade. His departure also opens questions we hope will soon be answered…and if twitter is to be believed, and skysports, and a fair few other platforms, it appears that Max may well be returning.

Chi lo fatto fa il mercato? (who will be in charge of the market recruitment?)

The SD role, from what I have long gleaned, is incredibly important in our sporting model. The position requires overall management of the first team squad and overseeing recruitment. The former is more about choosing the coaching staff, the latter is obvious – the management of scouting, utilising key connections with players, agents, clubs, intermedearies to ensure that we sign the players needed by the head coach, maintain a balanced wage and transfer budget and make capital gains in sales.

Paratici worked wonders in tandem with Beppe Marotta as the head scout, with Beppe as the SD. They signed some wonderful talents and were key figures in the building of a squad and recruitment of the right coaches to take us back up to the top. However, when Paratici made his move, seemingly in sync with Nedved, to change the direction of the sporting model more towards marketing and branding, bring in Ronaldo at huge investment, it led to the demise of Beppe, who was kicked out the club, his underling usurping him in the process.

Since then, I have come to very much prefer Paratici as the head scout. Though I am sure he did more than run the scouting network, for he worked out deals, likely did much of the negotiation with Beppe the money man pulling his strings and guiding the process. It has become apparent, especially with Sarri, that Paratici did not hugely involve the head coach in decision making for recruitment, if at all. Sarri was left wondering which players he would have in his squad just days before the commencement of the season, which I agreed, was utter turmoil. It is as awful a scene as having no preseason, especially when potentially key players may be sold.

The strategy that Beppe operated, I once read, was more a case of working closely with the manager. Asking him what profile of players he needed then setting the scouts to work. Bringing back options A B C D etc, and then seeking advice from the manager. I prefer this model, or any model, which involves direct contribution to the process from the manager.

Also to note, is that Paratici was allegedly a major agitator of Max being pushed out the club…

My hope was that our departing Sd would be replaced by a seasoned pro, well connected, highly experienced and respected for his work. And this may prove the case. Presently though, we find Federico Cherubini promoted to what could be seen as the SD role, in name and duties.

That swap was rumoured as far back as October of last year. Cherubini, far from a cherub in looks, as he evokes thoughts more swiftly of trolls, has risen up the ranks swiftly to become one of Agnelli’s most trusted employees. And this most recent promotion seems part of a staged plan put in place many moons ago.

Who is Cherubini?

Our new SD started his playing career with home town club Foligno, which he went onto manage with solid results (TBC). His progress was noted by Beppe and Paratici when they were still at Samp, back in 2008, but it was not until 2021 that they brought him to Juve where he was placed in charge of the youth sector and loanees.

Moving to 2018, Cherubini was given the management of the fledgling Juve U23 side. Gaining further promotion when Beppe was kicked out, and the sporting model was split more cleanly between business and sporting, with the fast rising Cherub promoted again in 2020 to sporting director to work directly as the right hand man of Paratici.

It seems a story of continuity. Now fully risen through the ranks to the top of the pile, with responsibility for how to restart the Juve project and he will have (or will have had) a major say in our new coach or Pirlo remaining. As well as recruitment.

Given the hellish upheaval we have endured of late, I am happy for seismic change to be afoot. Any concerns I have of Cherubini’s absence of connections at the highest level and demonstrable success are somewhat assuaged by a hope that he will very much work with our new manager, and also, be more closely attuned to the youth sector.

Still there are links abounding of just the kind of profile we need, such as the words yesterday of Sassuolo SD Giovanni Carnevali, whose work has helped build an exciting, young, successful squad on a very small budget. It would be amazing business to take him and Locatelli…

“It is clear that Juventus is a great club, for which we all have ambition, we want to do more and more. I have a special bond with the Squinzi family, I have been with them for 8 years, first with their parents now there they are the children, so I believe that everything must be evaluated very well because after having worked with people like the Squinzi family you have to ask yourself a thousand questions and you will probably never have the answer, so it is very difficult to think of other companies right now “

Now we wait for an official announcement of the return to Max, or something else entirely…alongside the other burning question of Ronaldo’s continued employment at the club…

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