Tottenham’s hunt for a new manager might be a way off completion, but a deal for a new technical director is on the cards – with former Juventus chief Fabio Paratici said to be on his way to north London.
Spurs fans have taken aim at Daniel Levy over his inconsistent degree of success in the transfer market over the years, but a move for the Italian could appease his most ardent critics, with Paratici responsible for some impressive deals during more than a decade in Turin.
Should he make the switch to Spurs, he will have a big say on transfers while working with Levy and director of football Steve Hitchen – with the club hoping to kickstart a new era in their hunt for a new manager, and possibly without Harry Kane.
Paratici has masterminded some stunning free transfers – including for Andrea Pirlo and Paul Pogba – while he was also the man who brought Cristiano Ronaldo in from Real Madrid. Known for his bargains and loan deals, the 48-year-old played a crucial role in the club’s dominance in Serie A while keeping costs down.
However, he didn’t always get it right – with a handful of deals failing to succeed and some expensive windows failing to bolster the squad. Sportsmail has taken a look through Paratici’s signings at Juventus and how they got on.
Ex-Juventus chief Fabio Paratici (L) could soon be working under Spurs chairman Daniel Levy
The Italian’s smart business for Juventus has been a key factor in their decade of dominance
Total spent: £91m
Paratici joined in May 2010, but his first full season in charge coincided with Juventus beginning their strangehold on the Scudetto.
Taking over with Antonio Conte in the dugout – the man who was set to join him at Spurs before talks collapsed – the Old Lady won their first title since 2003, and a big part of their success came down to two key midfielder additions from Paratici.
The first came free of charge – as he pulled off the signing of Milan icon Andrea Pirlo, who had an immediate impact in helping the club reclaim the league crown, missing just one league game. The tough tackling Arturo Vidal was the second, forming a brilliant understanding with the Italian in centre of the park.
Paratici kicked off his era by snapping up Italy icon Andrea Pirlo on a free transfer, while Arturo Vidal was another major signing in midfield
His striker signings varied in success – Fabio Quagliarella joined for around £15m and scored nine times, while Mirko Vucinic, a £13.5m signing from Roma, struggled initially but went on to prove his worth with 10 goals to contribute towards their title charge.
Paratici would also bolster the defence – with Stephan Lichtsteiner coming in from Lazio for £9m – with the Swiss star going on to become a stalwart for the club, playing more than 250 times.
Key signings: Vucinic, Vidal, Quagliarella, Lichtsteiner, Elia, Pepe, Marco Motta, Giaccherini, Pirlo (free)
Total spent: £65m
From the outset, Paratici’s second year at the club looks like a misfire as far as transfers are concerned. Now known as the free transfer master, he began to show his aptitude for a bargain deal as two players came in on a Bosman and two arrived on loan.
Three of them were totally forgettable as former Bayern defender Lucio made just one appearance in the league, while Niklas Bendtner‘s temporary switch from Arsenal was a gamble that failed to pay off as he didn’t score once in 11 games.
And veteran forward Nicholas Anelka also flopped after returnign to his former club for the season from Shanghai Shenua, not registering a goal and playing twice.
The Italian showed his love for a bargain deal as Nicklas Bendtner and Nicholas Anelka (R) both came in on loans – but both forwards failed to score
But the club will likely forgive his failed transfer dealings as one diamond came in out of the rough bunch – with Paul Pogba signed on a free from Manchester United.
He was unproven at the time, but Juventus would go on to ensure it was one of the best deals in recent years as he quickly became indispensible at Juventus and contributed towards their second Serie A title win – playing 27 games in his first season and going on to make 178 appearances.
Juventus ended up making £89m profit on the Frenchman as he was shipped back to Old Trafford having emerged as one of the top midfielders in world football, and it remains a transfer masterstroke from Paratici.
The genius signing of Paul Pogba on a free transfer from Manchester United saved his bacon
Other signings were forward Sebastian Giovinco, who chipped in with 11 goals, bit-part playing midfielder Mauricio Isla and Kwadwo Asamoah, who proved to be a valuable asset down the left flank.
Despite pulling off a deal as good as Pogba’s one, Paratici got more wrong than he got right.
Key signings: Asamoah, Isla, Giovinco, Cacares, Lucio (free) Pogba (free), Bendtner (loan), Anelka (loan)
With Juventus’ squad now brimming with quality and depth, Paratici’s role was becoming much easier, now only needing to sprinkle it with talent rather than recruit an army of new acquisitions.
But the team were sorely lacking a reliable goalscorer to maintain their title charge – with midfielder Vidal becoming their joint-highest goalscorer in the previous season alongside Vucinic.
So Paratici pounced for Manchester City’s wantaway forward Carlos Tevez, paying just £8m for the Argentine who had just scored 73 goals for the Premier League outfit and catapulted them into superstardom.
Juventus spent just £8m on proven striker Carlos Tevez, who was an instant hit in Turin
The towering presence of Llorente was also crucial as Juventus won a third straight title
The move was a complete hit – as he went on to score 21 times in his first season – becoming their top sharpshooter as they won a third straight title as well as the Italian Super Cup.
But Paratici was keen to ensure Tevez had suitable back-up, and he followed up the bargain move with another – as towering Sevilla striker Fernando Llorente arrived on a free transfer. But far from playing second fiddle, Llorente was a crucial member of Conte’s squad as he netted 18 times in all competitions, playing his part with 45 appearances.
Angelo Ogbonna – now at West Ham – also came in as defensive cover, playing 25 games as back-up to the likes of Leonardo Bonucci, Andrea Barzagli and Giorgio Chiellini.
The only deal Paratici won’t have fond memories of is controversial forward Dani Osvaldo, who scored just three times in a loan deal to forget.
Key signings: Ogbonna, Tevez, Berardi, Llorente (free) Osvaldo (loan)
New season, new manager – same success. Juventus won the league and cup double under coach Max Allegri and reached the Champions League final in one of their greatest seasons to date.
But with Giovcino, Quagliarella and Vucinic all leaving the club, it was time to further add to the forward line – and it was time for another Paratici master stroke as he snapped up promising 18-year-old PSG star Kingsley Coman on a free transfer.
Kingsley Coman (L) came on a free and was solid for a huge profit, while Patrice Evra (R) was a vital experienced head as Juventus reached the Champions League final
Alvaro Morata was signed from Real Madrid and made an impact despite not being prolific
Coman played 20 times in his debut year as he introduced himself to the world, before being loaned out to Bayern for the next two seasons. Eventually they sold him to the Germans for around £25m, in addition to loan fees over the previous years.
Another forward came in to assist Tevez as Alvaro Morata arrived from Real Madrid for £18m. The Argentine remained the focal point in attack, but Morata’s presence was much-needed in the squad as he chipped in with 15 goals – starting alongside ‘Carlitos’ in the 3-1 Champions League final loss to Barcelona.
That game also saw another new signing start the match in Patrice Evra, who arrived on a free transfer from Manchester United. The experienced Frenchman started off as the club’s first choice left-back before helping to usher in a new era.
Key signings: Morata, Sturaro, Rugani, Evra, Coman (free)
Money spent: £164m
Another triumphant year under Allegri as he began to stamp his mark on the side thanks to an array of smart deals from Paratici.
After losing some of the club’s most experienced heads in Pirlo, Tevez, Vidal and Llorente, the coach needed to fill the positions – most importantly providing competition to Morata.
Paratici found the spiritual successor to Llorente, a big target man who could hold up play and also fire the club towards a big goal tally, as Mario Mandzukic came in from Atletico Madrid.
Paratici splashed out on three forwards in 2015, including Paolo Dybala (C) from Palermo and Mario Mandzukic (R) from Atletico Madrid
He was never prolific in Turin but ended up staying for four seasons – providing 44 goals in total. The most memorable of those was the spectacular overhead kick against Real Madrid in the Champions League final in 2017, but Juve eventually lost the match 4-1.
The Croatian was one of three signings up front – the second was Simone Zaza, who the club had signed years earlier in a co-ownership deal before he was sent to Sassuolo. The club exercised their option to sign him back, and he scored eight times before being loaned out to West Ham and eventually joining Valencia.
Their best deal by far was Palermo’s rising sensation Paolo Dybala, who instantly became their main forward as he led their scoring charts with 23.
The Italian chief continued to work his magic with the free transfer of midfielder Sami Khedira
Paratici continued his knack of free transfers as goalkeeper Neto came in from Fiorentina, and pulled off another coup by snapping up midfielder Sami Khedira from Real Madrid.
Meanwhile, Juan Cuadrado was a smart loan from Chelsea due to his versatility, while Alex Sandro came in from Porto for £23m to battle with Evra over the left back spot. The Brazilian would go on to become their first choice for years.
Key signings: Dybala, Alex Sandro, Mandzukic, Zaza, Pereyra, Hernanes, Cuadrado (loan), Lemina (loan), Khedira (free)
Total spent: £147m
Real Madrid exercised their option to bring Alvaro Morata back to the club, while Pogba departed Turin for his United homecoming.
Replacements were needed, and Juventus made headlines in their search to find a new forward – as they paid £80m, the third highest deal ever at the time, for Napoli’s prolific Gonzalo Higuain.
At the age of 28, it was a lot of money for a playing who was not getting any younger – but thankfully for Paratici, the Argentine didn’t disappoint as he ended up netting 32 times as their top scorer, helping to deliver their sixth Scudetto.
With Morata heading back to Madrid, Juve paid £80m to sign Gonzalo Higuain from Napoli
Dani Alves was another shrewd piece of business as he joined on a free transfer from Barca
With Pogba gone, in came Miralem Pjanic from Roma, with the Bosnian midfielder proving to be an instant hit – while Mario Lemina was another squad option in the middle of the park after signing permanently from Marseille.
And in defence was another veteran costing nothing as Barcelona right-back Dani Alves, hailed as one of the best in the world, arrived in Turin on another free.
All three of their major signings in Higuain, Pjanic and Alves played a key role and started as Juventus reached their second Champions League final in two years, but it would be heartbreak again for the Italians as they were crushed 4-1 by Real Madrid.
Key signings: Higuain, Pjaca, Pjanic, Lemina, Rincon, Benatia (loan) Dani Alves (free)
Juventus began to think about life after Gianluigi Buffon as they brought in a quality goalkeeper as his future successor – Wojciech Szczesny.
The Pole traded responsibilities with the veteran shot stopper before collecting the No.1 jersey the following season. Elsewhere, Juve strengthened in defence with Mattia De Sciglio to replace outgoing right back Alves, while they also splashed out £27m on PSG midfielder Blaise Matuidi.
Juventus started planning for the future as they brought in Wojciech Szczesny in goal
Blaise Matuidi (R) – rated as one of the best defensive midfielders around – also came to Turin
Again, Paratici showed he desire to ensure the club were always covered across all bases, while he also recruited two promising players in teenager Rodrigo Bentancur and Federico Bernadeschi – who arrived with a £37m transfer tag.
With Dybala still confidently putting the goals away, Douglas Costa was signed on an initial loan deal to support him, with the club paying a £4m loan fee before turning it permanent the following season for £35m after an impressive campaign saw him play 47 times and score six goals.
Key signings: Bernadeschi, Cuadrado (permanent), Matuidi, Szcszeny, Bentancur, De Sciglio, Douglas Costa (loan)
Total spent: £236m
The big one. With Juventus still desperate to win the Champions League and hungry to sign a top tier player who could lead them to Euro glory, an opportunity presented itself with Cristiano Ronaldo looking to leave the Bernabeu.
‘I entered Andrea Angelli’s room and I told him, “President, don’t kick me out of this office”‘, he reflected. ‘”I have news, we can buy CR7 and bring him 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.’
Paratici helped pull off one of the biggest deals ever as he masterminded Cristiano Ronaldo’s £100m move to Juventus in 2018
The Portuguese superstar has become the club’s talisman but failed to inspire European glory
It would go down as one of the biggest deals in transfer history as he joined for £100m, sending shockwaves around the game, and had the immediate impact the club were looking for as he scored 28 times in his first season.
But despite his heroics in the competition, he was unable to help the club win the Champions League as they bowed out in the quarter-finals to Ajax.
Defence was also a priority with Paratici bringing in Joao Cancelo from Valencia for around £35m. The club ended up selling him on to Man City for £60m after a quality season in Italy, and also brought back club icon Leonardo Bonucci after his one year stint at AC Milan.
With Liverpool’s versatile star Emre Can also being snapped up for free, it turned out to be a memorable transfer window for Juve.
Key signings: Ronaldo, Cancelo, Bonucci, Perin, Emre Can (free)
Total spent: £201m
Paratici was looking to work his magic on free transfers once again as he brought in two midfielders – Adrien Rabiot from PSG and Aaron Ramsey from Arsenal.
But Rabiot didn’t enjoy the best of seasons at the Juventus Stadium and struggled to nail down a regular place in his first year – often being linked with a swift exit – although he began to settle more in his second campaign.
Ramsey, however, has proven to be one of Paratici’s worst signings – putting him on £400,000 a week wages, with the Welshman struggling to justify his eye-watering weekly salary.
Aaron Ramsey will go down as one of their worst signings in recent years after joining on a free
Matthijs de Ligt came with huge expectations after being snapped up for around £67m
He started just 11 times in his first year at Juve, and 13 the following campaign. His contract runs until 2023 and the club will be looking to offload him sooner rather than later.
Buffon also followed Bonucci made his return to the club from PSG on a free, while Portuguese right-back Danilo came in as part of the deal to send Cancelo to City.
But the statement signing in defence was Ajax captain Matthijs de Ligt – who had just led a young Ajax team to the Champions League semi-finals, dumping Juve out in the process.
A lot was expected of the Dutchman, carrying a price tag of around £67m. At times he looked like he was still adapting to life in Italy but has managed to rack up 75 appearances and looks like a trusted member of the squad.
However, with more than £200m spent, you would have expected a lot more from the players who came in.
Key signings: De Ligt, Danilo, Rabiot (free), Buffon (free), Ramsey (free)
Total spent: £80m
With the Covid pandemic hitting Juventus particularly hard, they were forced to manouvre in the market with loan deals – their only major cash deal being Barcelona midfielder Arthur, who was signed for £64m.
Pjanic had gone the other way to the Nou Camp for a similar fee, while the club were also able to get Higuain and Matuidi off the wage bill as they joined Inter Miami.
Former Barcelona star Arthur was Juventus’ marquee signing after being hit hard by Covid
They managed to bring in promising youngsters West McKennie (R) and Dejan Kulusevski, but surrendered the Serie A title for the first time in a decade
That allowed the club some wiggle room as Paratici secured another loan deal for Morata, while youngsters Weston McKennie and Federico Chiesa both arrived on season-long loan deals with a view to buy the following summer.
The previous season he had made another signing for the future by acquiring Dejan Kulusevski from Atalanta – with the Swedish star linking up with the club after a loan at Parma. While all three of the youngsters impressed, they ultimately failed to hand boss Andrea Pirlo the quality he needed to win Serie A as a dismal season saw the team surrender the title for the first time in a decade as they finished fourth.
But Paratici’s biggest blunder in this transfer window was the failure to sign Luis Suarez – which led to tensions in the board room, and ultimate led to him leaving Turin under a cloud.
Key signings: Arthur, Morata (loan), Mandragora, Chiesa (loan), McKennie (loan)