His preamble on “culture”
“We are very happy. We wanted to take advantage of this summer market to change something fundamental in the club. The culture. Two words: ambition and demand. Whether in the coach, in the profile of the players, in the management, in the employees… we wanted to change and continue transforming the club. This is from the owner, we talked a lot during the summer. In all processes it is difficult to accept changes, even more difficult when you finish second in the Championship and qualify for the Champions League. I asked for patience, calm down .
It will be a complicated transfer window, we will have to do things intelligently. We have changed the mentality of the game. In the different teams, even when you win, it’s good to have a renewal of the squad, let’s say seven or eight players per summer. That’s healthy. With a change of coach, with a totally different football, more vertical, more European, you need even more signings. We have mentally stronger players, a good group. I was on the phone with Frank McCourt for an hour and a half, after the end of the transfer window. The owner is happy with the transfer window we’ve had, the team improvements. »
Frank McCourt (left) and Pablo Longoria. (A. Réau/The Team)
The question of sales
“For us it is important to have an economic balance. With the transfer window that we have made, we consider that we are in a positive economic situation, even very positive as of June 30 with a potential sale of Bamba Dieng as well. It is a good message that I want to convey. The economic situation of the club has allowed us to retain our best players, those with the highest market value. There were different offers for Gerson or Guendouzi, we rejected them. For Gerson, they were Premier League clubs, I won’t say the amounts or the offers, and also a Spanish club. For Guendouzi, there was a proposal from Italy. We hold on. There are many parameters to take into account, damping for example, etc.
But the two most important indicators are the cash flow and the net accounting result at the end of the season. We are in a comfortable position. The box office is good. We are working so that the accounts are green next June, with sales, continuing in the European competition, looking for new sponsors. I would be more comfortable with the sale of Bamba Dieng, with a good net capital gain. We still have a winter transfer window, another before June 30. A sale depends on the player’s salary within the club, on the years left on his contract… The most expensive players who sell are the most physical, especially since the Premier League is the one that buys the most, and this type of player . We have seen, for example, that the value of Hellas Verona players has skyrocketed. »
The Arkadiusz Milik case
“The Milik question is a profile question, not a level question. A player who evolves with Juventus, a first training session and already plays his first game, a second where he comes back and scores (last Wednesday). He is performing, his market value is visible at a club like Juve. So to question the level of a player like that… We want to respond to the coach’s very marked style of play, we need players adaptable to his system. And the highest salary in the squad must go to the most important player. This is essential for the psychological health of the locker room.
Arkadiusz Milik, wearing the OM shirt, has been loaned to Juventus. (F. Porcu/The Team)
(About its price, less than one million euros of loan payable and 7 in option to buy) It is the market price. We had some unfavorable offers from Spain and we decided that it was better to loan the player to get his market value in the future. For €750,000, plus €250,000 in easily attainable bonuses (20% of the sums will be donated to Naples, editor’s note), I consider it a good deal, for a player who played only 41% of the minutes played in L1 for the whole of last season. »
The thorny file of Bamba Dieng
“The reality is that he is a player with a contract at OM. The player wanted to go to Nice, there was an agreement between clubs (OM and Nice), and finally no action was taken. Today there are no more negotiations with Nice. From the moment he returns he will have all the rights, like the rest of the players, it will be a sports decision of the coach, he will decide if he makes him play games or not. During the medical visit to Nice, what happened? There are simply different medical views. With us, the player didn’t have any injuries last season, except that before the last matchday against Strasbourg, he tried to hit a backheel and hurt his tendon.
But our doctors considered him fit for all competitions, he had no injuries in the national team, he won the African Cup of Nations. I don’t know what happened yesterday in Nice. Anger, not anger… (On the roots of the divorce between OM and Dieng) We never made the decision to let go of this player. Why would we? He has two years left on his contract, but like Valentin Rongier, like Pape Gueye. It’s not logical. He had great performances last season, he was African champion with Senegal, he is a good player. But there has been a change of situation, and we have to adapt to the situation. Au coach de faire les choix techniques, après chaque entraînement, chaque match amical, chaque week-end de competition… At this point, I thought that Luis Suarez recruited him the best option for reinforcing his team, this is a question Profile. We are convinced that we made the right decision. »
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