Mercoledì, 26 Settembre 2018

Soccer: Juve and Napoli seen as transfer-market winners


(By Denis Greenan).
Rome, September 3 - Reigning champions Juventus and
runners-up Napoli are seen as the two winners on the Italian
transfer market which closed Monday night.
Juve secured the services of Carlos Tevez from Manchester
City and Napoli, while losing prolific scorer Edinson Cavani to
Paris Saint-Germain, got Gonzalo Higuain from Real Madrid.
Both have impressed in Juve and Napoli's two high-scoring
opening wins.
AC Milan, which landed Alessandro Matri from Juve and Kakà
in a last-minute deal from Real Madrid, is reckoned to have come
third in the summer's bargaining.
Italy's clubs spent some 800 million euros in the transfer
window from July 3 to September 2, according to figures released
Higuain's 37-million-euro move was the biggest, but
overshadowed by the 65-million-euro sale of Cavani to PSG and
dwarfed by the new world record 100 million euros Real splashed
out on Spurs forward Gareth Bale.
The second-biggest Italian deal of the summer was the 26
million Manchester City's sheikhs forked out for Fiorentina's
Stevan Jovetic.
The Viola reinvested 15.5 million euros for Bayern Munich
centre-forward Mario Gomez.
AS Roma also made big market waves by selling Brazil
centre-back Marquinhos to PSG and Argentine forward Erik Lamela
to Spurs for a combined 61 million euros, helping the Roman club
bankroll the acquisition of rising Netherlands star Kevin
The 23-year-old midfielder from PSV Eindhoven cost the
Giallorossi 19 million euros.
Inter, widely rumoured to be heading for the end of the
Moratti era and new Indonesian ownership, mostly kept its hand
in its pocket, apart from picking up Argentine striker Mauro
Icardi from Sampdoria for 13 million and Algeria striker Ishak
Belfodil from Parma.
But the main headlines were grabbed by Juve and Napoli, both
seeking European glory as well as the scudetto.
The Bianconeri's other acquisitions included Fernando
Llorente, on a free transfer from Atletico Madrid, and Torino's
Italy defender Angelo Ogbonna, for a considerable 12 million
Napoli's other buys were Real Madrid forward José Callejon,
a 10-million-euro signing; central defender Raul Albiol, also
from Real, for 12 million; and goalkeeper Pepe Reina, on loan
from Liverpool.
But Italian soccer watchers say the most significant buy of
the year remains AC Milan's purchase of Mario Balotelli from Man
City in the January transfer window.
Italy striker Balotelli has been on fire for Milan in their
two games, despite their debut ending in defeat to Hellas
Verona, in pursuit of his stated goal to dislodge Barcelona and
Argentina great Leo Messi from his perch as the world's best
The 23-year-old former bad boy is keeping his temper despite
racist taunts and showing a maturing desire to play for the
team, third favourite for the title behind Juve and Napoli.
And Milan may also come to be thankful that Balotelli's
fellow Italy forward Stephan 'The Pharaoh' El Shaarawy refused
to budge this week despite club owner Silvio Berlusconi's
inclination to accept a whopping Man city bid and recoup some
much-needed cash.

© Riproduzione riservata

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