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Italian Police Raid Juventus Offices as Part of Probe Into Player Transfers

CC0 / / FC Juventus
FC Juventus - Sputnik International, 1920, 28.11.2021
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According to local newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport, investigators are looking into 42 sales and acquisitions of athletes, including transfers involving Miralem Pjanić to Barcelona and Joao Cancelo to Manchester City.
Italian police raided the offices of FC Juventus in Turin and Milan late on Saturday as part of a probe into the transfers of players. Turin prosecutor Anna Maria Loreto said investigators are looking into allegations whether Italy’s most acclaimed club, which has won 76 trophies, overinflated the value of their players when conducting transfers.
Juventus confirmed that it is cooperating with the investigation without elaborating.

According to local media, the investigators are probing transfers that occurred after the club signed Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo in 2018. It has been rumoured that the $113 million deal as well as Ronaldo’s high wages have depleted the club’s coffers, with the situation being drastically exacerbated after the coronavirus pandemic cancelled all mass events.

The probe is looking into whether Juventus’ bosses gave false information to investors, issued invoices for non-existent transfers, as well as exaggerated the prices of the transfers. Some of the transfers have raised eyebrows in the past – Miralem Pjanić's $67.9m move to Barcelona in 2020 in exchange for Brazilian midfielder Arthur Melo bewildered sports pundits. They argued that the Bosnian player, who was 30 at the time, wasn't worth nearly $70 million considering his age and form.

Six officials are under investigation, including the club’s president, Andrea Agnelli, the club’s former star Pavel Nedved, who now serves as Juventus' vice-president, and former sporting director Fabio Paratici, who is now the managing director of Football for Tottenham Hotspur.

According to local media, it will be very difficult to prove malicious intent, as clubs value players differently, but if found guilty, Juventus could receive hefty fines or be given a points deduction. The Old Lady is not the only club in Italy’s Serie A facing a probe. Napoli has been under investigation for the same reasons.
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