Juventus, Atalanta, Napoli, Roma under transfer investigation too?

According to the Corriere dello Sport, Juventus are only one of the many clubs under investigation for inflated transfer values, including Napoli, Roma, Atalanta, Genoa and Sampdoria.

The investigation into Juve is formal, with the club’s offices in Turin and Milan raided on Friday and Saturday, but this could just be the beginning for Italian and European football.

It is part of a wider investigation into transfer values and the so-called plusvalenze – capital gains – especially when it comes to player exchanges.

Because the market dictates what a player is worth, two clubs can agree to a set fee, even if it is extremely inflated, allowing both of them to balance their books by trading assets seemingly worth huge sums.

Most often, it is seen with youth team players who are traded as part of a larger transfer and given vastly inflated prices.

According to the Corriere dello Sport, there are several clubs involved in the first stage of the investigation, which began secretly in the autumn of 2020.

They include Napoli, Roma, Atalanta, Genoa and Sampdoria.

Napoli are already being looked at in France for their deal with LOSC for Victor Osimhen, which was one of the clearest examples of the technique used.

Officially, that transfer was worth over €80m, but that included €20m worth of player exchanges.

The four players in question, goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis and three youth team products, didn’t really play for Lille and were released from their contracts after loans to Serie C sides.

It is also reported the FIGC requested the opportunity to share information with the financial authorities as part of their own investigation into plusvalenze in football.

Because this type of creative accounting requires two clubs to agree on the valuation of a player, it stands to reason that only the practice is widespread.

Andrea Agnelli

Video: Fans celebrated with Gasperini after win at Juve

Atalanta fans had gathered outside Zingonia and waited to give Gian Piero Gasperini a joyful welcome after the coach secured the first win at Juventus since 1989.

The Orobici fans had gathered outside the Orobici’s sports centre, to give the returning heroes a warm welcome on Saturday night.

Gasperini: ‘Juventus Stadium win a joy for Atalanta and Bergamo’

Atalanta strengthened their position at fourth, as Gasperini’s men picked up a 1-0 win in Turin, thanks to Duvan Zapata’s scorcher.

La Dea thus secured their first win at Juve in over 30 years, while Gasperini won his first match against Max Allegri ever.

The reasons behind Allegri’s disastrous second spell at Juventus

Juventus find themselves seven points behind a Champions League spot and Elio Salerno analyses what Massimiliano Allegri is getting wrong in his second spell in Turin.

Juventus suffered their heaviest defeat in 17 years on Tuesday night when conceding four without reply at the hands of Chelsea. The fallout from that embarrassing performance in London has been one of extreme frustration and profound disappointment. The Bianconeri lost their first home against Atalanta in 32 years four days later, slipping seven points behind a Champions League spot.

Much of the blame and questioning has been aimed at coach Max Allegri and the management working above him. The quality within the squad has deteriorated over the last five years and has been discussed on countless occasions, it is a conversation that has been exhausted.

The club have lost direction and that is clear not only from the work completed on the transfer market but also in their decisions around coaching staff. Players were signed or sold, coaches appointed and sacked, all of it seemingly done with no consideration or plan in mind.

Juventus investigated for €282m inflated transfers

It’s almost criminal that as of yet there appears to be no strategy in place to rectify mistakes. Everything is being dealt with sporadically. Perception from the outside is that those in control don’t know where to start, they’ve allowed the problems to run too deep. There were even more issues this week as Andrea Agnelli has been put under investigation with other current and former directors, including Pavel Nedved and Fabio Paratici, for false accounting.

After the defeat against Atalanta, Allegri revealed that Agnelli had spoken to the team in the morning in what he described to be ‘a wonderful speech.’

Agnelli has worked wonders over the last decade, his influence has been a major factor in Juve’s success. He has never hidden his ambition, from the new stadium to the logo change and the major push in global marketing. Agnelli has been a flagbearer behind the idea of creating a European super league, he has done all of this with The Old Lady at forefront of his mind.

Agnelli’s bold way of thinking has not been limited to business matters. He did what many thought would be impossible and brought Cristiano Ronaldo to Serie A, he hired Max Allegri after club legend Antonio Conte walked out on him.

Then in the hope of continuing his dreams of building a modern club, he appointed Maurizio Sarri with the intention of matching Juve’s trendy new look off the pitch with an expansive playing style on it. After the Sarri experiment failed, replacing him with a novice in Andrea Pirlo left everyone scratching their head.

Allegri: ‘Once Juventus are realistic, pressure will drop off’

Attempting to transition the Turin giants away from playing pragmatic football was absolutely the right call, the days of a safety-first mindset do not bring success in the modern game. We can question if the president hired the right tacticians to introduce this change, but Agnelli himself never gave it a chance. Did he truly believe in it? Neither coach was given the players to make it work. Moving to a high pressing, free-flowing brand of football was going to take time. It was going to be problematic and failure is part of the process.

After two seasons and the near catastrophe of missing out on the Champions League, Agnelli panicked, hit reset and resorted to type. Juventini were well aware of why Mister Allegri was re-called and Max confirmed that with his words in Friday’s pre-game press conference. “President Agnelli asked me to return to Juventus and go back to being sustainable and obtaining results. We will put all our efforts into making this happen, the team needs to work and it takes time and patience”.

Allegri also commented on the mid-week defeat stating that “Juve must not lose 4-0” but preceded that comment by stating that “the match we had to win was in Turin”. It is that mentality that has to change, Allegri never went to Stamford Bridge with a thought of winning, he went for damage control and deservedly failed miserably.

The concern with Allegri is that this isn’t a one-off or a recent issue, it stretches back to the end of his first spell in charge and he is replicating it again now, but this time around his ideas makes less sense. The continued use of a flat 4-4-2 doesn’t suit the players deployed in it.

Only five Juventus players faced fans’ fury

Persisting with Adrien Rabiot off the left and stifling his best player in Federico Chiesa by often using him in a front two. Refusing to drop Alex Sandro despite the Brazilian playing dreadfully for the best part of three years and allowing his central midfield pairing to be overrun on a weekly basis because they are overloaded by the opposition. Manuel Locatelli is bar far Juve’s best midfield player but he is being hung out to dry by Allegri’s approach. Logically it doesn’t fit, a 4-3-3 (or variation of it) looks the obvious choice. Allegri used it against Atalanta, but the result didn’t change.

The Juve boss relies on his senior players, but this squad is not stacked with the same experience as those he had in his previous tenure. Younger players have been invested in but instead of embracing what is available, he prefers to restrict and put the responsibility on the older heads rather than allow the likes of Matthijs de Ligt, Chiesa and Locatelli to be the protagonists.  They are more than ready and certainly capable. It is this safety and risk-averse thinking that Agnelli is more comfortable with, it is why he was willing to put his faith in Allegri again, it is why they work well together.

Calcio has changed significantly in recent years, Serie A has improved with a new breed of coaches and players launching a type of football that has never been typically associated with the Italian league. If Allegri fails to follow the trend, things could worsen instead of seeing the expected improvement. The imbalance in the squad cannot be fixed in the next year, so it is up to the coach to maximise his available strengths. Last week against Lazio there were bright moments in possession but they are a rarity and it remains to be seen if this can be replicated consistently, not just for 90 minutes but on a weekly basis.

Juventus face their biggest challenge since the late 2000’s and Max Allegri – despite his prior success at the club – is in danger of being defined by the work he is currently producing. Football now more than ever relies on a cohesive XI working together. Individuals are not enough to carry you through and Allegri needs to distance himself from relying on moments to bring success.

@eliosalerno87

epa09607847 Juventus' coach Massimiliano Allegri (L) reacts during the Italian Serie A soccer match Juventus FC vs Atalanta BC at the Allianz Stadium in Turin, Italy, 27 November 2021. EPA-EFE/MASSIMO RANA

Serie A Highlights: Juventus 0-1 Atalanta

Watch as Atalanta get their first Serie A victory away to Juventus in over 30 years with a Duvan Zapata scorcher, but Paulo Dybala was only denied an equaliser by the woodwork.

Serie A | Juventus 0-1 Atalanta: Duvan Zapata dooms the Old Lady

It was a tale of two crossbars in Turin, as when Duvan Zapata sprung the offside trap from Berat Djimsiti’s through ball, his strike cannoned off the underside of the bar and in.

After Juan Musso’s sensational fingertip save on Adrien Rabiot, Dybala had the best chance to equalise in stoppages, his free kick bouncing off the frame of the goal.

Allegri: ‘Once Juventus are realistic, pressure will drop off’

Max Allegri insists Juventus were never Scudetto contenders and are ‘here to challenge for the top four’ after their home defeat to Atalanta. ‘Once we are realistic, we take the pressure off.’

It was another painful defeat for the Bianconeri after the midweek 4-0 humiliation at the hands of Chelsea in the Champions League and leaves them seven points adrift of fourth place.

Duvan Zapata pounced on a defensive error and fired in off the underside of the bar, while Paulo Dybala’s free kick bounced off the top of the same piece of woodwork in stoppages.

“It was a performance similar to the one against Lazio, with Fiorentina and Milan,” Allegri told DAZN.

Serie A | Juventus 0-1 Atalanta: Duvan Zapata dooms the Old Lady

“We don’t make the most of the chances we create, Atalanta had only one shot on goal from our error, and as I said yesterday, it’s the goal that counts.

“There is some anxiety, the players are hasty and rush things, but we must keep working on the performances and try to win games to get that confidence and calm back.”

Allegri was asked if this Juventus squad was over-rated by the media and fans?

“I think it’s a very good squad, there are moments when we struggle to score goals, but people said at the start that this was the strongest squad that simply had to win the Scudetto and I always noted that was inaccurate.

“We are here to challenge for the top four. I cannot complain to my lads after this performance, I can only congratulate their efforts, then the rest is down to those of you who talk for a living.”

Allegri’s Juventus are seven points worse off at this stage than Andrea Pirlo was last season, and 15 points worse than under Maurizio Sarri.

“I think we must be realistic. If we are in this position after 14 rounds, it means this is what we are worth right now. There’s a long way to go, but in terms of performance, I only saw us get it really wrong against Verona, Sassuolo and Empoli.

“Once we are realistic, we can take the pressure off and work better in a calmer environment. All we can do is try to get the best out of ourselves.

“We are Juventus and people seem to think that means we must automatically be Scudetto favourites. What we need to do is keep working, try to calm down and score some more goals. At this moment we are struggling to score and in my view it’s because we have lost that sense of calm and confidence.

“There’s no point thinking of ifs and buts. We have to start from scratch, put everything behind us and be prepared to fight it out on level terms with Salernitana, then add our quality on top.”

Gasperini: ‘Juventus Stadium win a joy for Atalanta and Bergamo’

Gian Piero Gasperini calls the first Atalanta victory away to Juventus for over 30 years ‘a joy for me, the club and the whole city of Bergamo.’

La Dea had not beaten Juve here during a Serie A match since 1989, while it is only the second time Gasperini has beaten Juve on the Atalanta bench in Turin, the first time he has defeated Max Allegri.

Serie A | Juventus 0-1 Atalanta: Duvan Zapata dooms the Old Lady

“It was a joy for me, but for the club and the whole city of Bergamo. It was a hard-fought and very physical game, but one Atalanta played at the very least on level terms,” Gasp told DAZN.

“Many things were said about Atalanta at the start of this season, but we started well or we wouldn’t have 28 points. There were some games that didn’t go our way or the points we deserved, but I never saw Atalanta struggling.

“We were in an emergency situation for a while due to injuries, that is true, and other players had to adapt to different roles. It was a setback, but everyone stepped up and delivered.

“Some results, like the home defeat to Milan, made everything look worse than it really was.

“There were moments when we were missing almost all our centre-backs, so we were lacking physicality. Don’t forget we were 2-0 up away to Manchester United before capitulating on set play situations.

“Now we have more options and more physicality at our disposal. If we handle that surge physically, then we are always able to create in attack at the other end.

“We always put the performance in and take the game to the opposition. We’ve shown maturity and self-belief in the Champions League against some very strong opponents, learning from some slaps in the face and allowing us to grow. We’re pretty much always competitive, though.”

Robin Gosens was meant to be back in the squad today, but there are reports he will be out for a while longer.

“We were very optimistic this week, but it was a very long lay-off and we need to take some time, because we refuse to take risks. It was quite a severe and anomalous injury, so we can’t push it.”

Only five Juventus players faced fans’ fury

The Allianz Stadium crowd booed Juventus after their defeat against Atalanta, but only five Bianconeri faced the fans’ fury after the final whistle.

The Serie A giants suffered a 1-0 loss against La Dea, so they are now seven points off a Champions League placement.

Duvan Zapata scored the eventual winner in the first half and Juventus players were booed for the first time after the first 45 minutes, while they were on their way to the tunnel.

Serie A | Juventus 0-1 Atalanta: Duvan Zapata dooms the Old Lady

There was even more tension and criticism in the second half when fans in the Curva Sud shouted ‘show some balls’ several times. When the game finished, boos were as loud as ever.

Only five Juventus players, Matthijs de Ligt, Wojciech Szczesny, Paulo Dybala, Leonardo Bonucci and Juan Cuadrado, walked under the Curva Sud to apologise to their fans who didn’t hide their disappointment seeing all the other players walking inside the tunnel.

Juventus also lost Federico Chiesa and Weston McKennie to injuries during the game.

They will face Salernitana away on Tuesday before hosting Genoa in Turin the following Sunday.

epa09607843 Juventus' Paulo Dybala shows his dejection at the end of the Italian Serie A soccer match Juventus FC vs Atalanta BC at the Allianz Stadium in Turin, Italy, 27 November 2021. EPA-EFE/MASSIMO RANA

Duvan Zapata: ‘Win away to Juventus a step forward for Atalanta’

Duvan Zapata sees it as ‘a big step forward’ for Atalanta to conquer the Allianz Juventus Stadium with a clean sheet.

The Colombian international seems to really love facing Juve, as he was on target again this evening, his eighth goal against them in all competition.

Serie A | Juventus 0-1 Atalanta: Duvan Zapata dooms the Old Lady

“I want to give my best in every game, we played really well today against a strong team,” Duvan Zapata told DAZN.

“We caused them huge problems in the first half, while after the break we went a bit too deep, but what matters is that we brought home the victory.”

Unlike the 3-3 midweek Champions League draw at Young Boys, Atalanta seemed solid in defence this evening.

“So many times recently we conceded in the closing stages, so this is a big step forward for us to win and keep a clean sheet in a fixture like this.

“It is a tough league, there are many different types of games. It was important we keep a clean sheet against a strong side like Juve and Atalanta hadn’t won here in Serie A for many years.”

Considering Atalanta’s strength in depth, can they try to go all the way in Italy and Europe this season?

“The aim is to win, taking it one game at a time, in Serie A and the Champions League.”

Serie A | Juventus 0-1 Atalanta: Duvan Zapata dooms the Old Lady

Duvan Zapata pounced on a defensive error to give Atalanta their first Serie A victory in Turin since 1989, as Paulo Dybala and Juventus were denied by the crossbar in stoppages.

The Bianconeri needed to get back on track after a humiliating 4-0 midweek Champions League defeat at Chelsea. Paulo Dybala was back in the side after injury, but Aaron Ramsey, Mattia De Sciglio and Danilo were out of action, with Giorgio Chiellini and Federico Bernardeschi only fit for the bench. La Dea had Hans Hateboer back in the squad, but Robin Gosens and Matteo Lovato didn’t make the trip.

Dybala’s curler couldn’t surprise Juan Musso, while Rafael Toloi made a decisive last-ditch tackle on Federico Chiesa.

Liveblog: Serie A Wk14 Super Saturday

Atalanta took the lead when Alvaro Morata gave it away in midfield, a Berat Djimsiti slide-rule pass allowed Duvan Zapata to spring the offside trap with Matthijs de Ligt hanging back and he smashed it in off the underside of the crossbar from a tricky angle.

Dybala scuffed wide from the edge of the area, but Chiesa pulled up on the stroke of half-time with an injury, making way for Federico Bernardeschi.

Juve struggled to create chances, Dybala firing over after a Berat Djimsiti risky back-pass to anticipate Weston McKennie.

The American also went off injured, while Adrien Rabiot’s daisy-cutter from the edge of the box was fingertipped inches wide by Juan Musso.

While Atalanta were pinned back for the entire second half, they did threaten on the counter when Ruslan Malinovskyi’s short was charged down, Cuadrado did just enough to stop Mario Pasalic getting the rebound and then it was fired onto the side-netting.

Matthijs de Ligt had a shot charged down from a corner and penalty appeals were rejected for handball, as it grazed Djimsiti’s shoulder.

Deep into stoppages, Dybala floated a free kick over the wall and away from Musso, but it bounced off the top of the crossbar.

La Dea kept a rare clean sheet for this even rarer win in Turin.

Juventus 0-1 Atalanta

Duvan Zapata 28 (A)