Tottenham have held talks with Antonio Conte to become their next manager as the Premier League club continues their search for Jose Mourinho’s successor.
But an intriguing side story is that Fabio Paratici, former Juventus Chief Football Officer, could come in as Tottenham’s technical director.
The 48-year-old administrator is the man who brought Paul Pogba and Cristiano Ronaldo to Turin, as well as several eye-catching purchases that didn’t cost a dime. But things turned sour over the Luis Suarez case.
Sportsmails ALVISE CAGNAZZO has everything you need to know about Paratici.
Fabio Paratici with the Serie A trophy after their title success in the 2019-20-20 campaign
Master of the free transfer
Fabio Paratici has been a Juventus talisman for over 11 years, a sports director with a passion for young people and the top players on the free transfer list.
Andrea Pirlo, Lucio, Adrien Rabiot, Sami Khedira and Aaron Ramsey are among the players he brought in without the Agnelli family, the owners of Juventus, having to spend a dime.
Movement of the century
But his best deal has to be the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo in 2018.
A documentary produced by Sky Sport in 2019 revealed how Paratici was the mastermind behind Real Madrid’s purchase of the century.
Paratici (second from left) was the man who masterminded the signing of Cristiano Ronaldo (left)
Paul Pogba (left) and Andrea Pirlo (right) were two other players Paratici brought to the club
“I entered Andrea Angelli’s room and said to him, ‘President, don’t kick me out of this office,’ said Paratici. “I have news, we can buy CR7 and bring it here.
‘Agnelli told me to sit down. After a few weeks, we announced the purchase of Ronaldo to the world and brought him to Turin.”
A shy but passionate character
Paratici has always been a shy character, but since the departure of CEO Giuseppe Marotta in 2018, he has tried to overcome his reluctance in front of the cameras by presenting himself in front of the microphones of Sky Sport Italia and Dazn every Sunday.
However, this shyness disappears when he sits in the stands. His temperament is very passionate and many times in his career as a sports director he has been fined and sanctioned for offensive attitude towards referees.
Paratici pictured in the stands with Juventus president Andrea Agnelli during a match last season
He is highly superstitious and throughout his time as sporting director for Juventus, he wore a buttoned shirt under his jacket at every pre- and post-match appearance.
The place where Paratici conducts his transfer business has always been the Hotel Parco dei Principi in Milan, where he has an office for weekly appointments with various agents.
The parting of Marotta, who was a kind of father figure, caused a rift between the couple.
Marotta, who now plays at Inter Milan, has repeatedly stated that he felt betrayed by the young sporting director weaned as a son during 16 years of working with Sampdoria and then Juventus.
Antonio Conte is in talks to become the new Tottenham manager and is a strong contender
Conte posted this photo to Instagram on Wednesday with the caption: ‘It’s a beautiful day’
Leaving Juventus under a cloud
It was not easy to leave Juventus after 11 years and 19 trophies, but the drama of the media exposure over the Luis Suarez case meant that Paratici was in the shadows.
According to newspapers Corriere della Sera and Republic, who published some extracts of the minutes of the Juventus president’s testimony to the Perugia prosecutors who were investigating the ‘farce’ Italian language exam taken by Suarez, Agnelli is said to have taken all responsibility for Paratici.
Juventus wanted to sign the Uruguayan striker, but to acquire citizenship, Suarez had to pass a language exam. Prosecutors claimed that the contents of the test were known in advance and that the result was predetermined.
Luis Suarez arrives in Perugia for his language test which caused such controversy and led to the collapse of his transfer to Juventus
Agnelli said, ‘I am in charge of examining the papers. He arranged everything, Paratici. I heard from Pavel Nedved that Suarez introduced her with a text message.’
Suarez eventually moved to Atletico Madrid, but the episode proved damaging to Paratici.
Criticism of Ramsey
Paratici has also been criticized for choosing to buy Aaron Ramsey for free after he left Arsenal.
The Welsh midfielder has never managed to play continuously and show his worth in Serie A and cost Juventus a lot of money due to his salary of 7.5 million euros (£6.45 million) a year.
Aaron Ramsey was signed for free but his huge salary is not justified at Juventus
A humble player
Paratici was a modest defender during his playing days, but he helped little Brindisi to the Coppa Italia Serie C victory towards the end of a career as a journeyman. He was never able to play in Serie A.
As a player, he had a right-sided role both in defense and midfield, but was used everywhere at one time or another.
After retiring, he started helping Marotta, then director general at Sampdoria, opting for a career as a sporting director.
His first assignment at Sampdoria was as Marotta’s secretary and later as his assistant in charge of transfers.
But Paratici’s professional dream has always been to work with Conte again, the coach with whom he won three scudetti in Turin, and this could become a reality in London.