Phil Costa

Juventus director admits club wanted Icardi before signing Ronaldo

Juventus sporting director Fabio Paratici admits the club had initially planned on signing Mauro Icardi before Cristiano Ronaldo.

Icardi had just completed a 29 goal season for Inter and was in doubt over his future, having failed to agree terms on a new deal.

However, Paratici reveals how once the option to sign Ronaldo came around, there was only ever going to be one option.

“The first option was to buy Icardi and unleash an incredible mess,” he told Gazzetta dello Sport.

“But, of course, this was not my real goal. When Jorge Mendes told me about Cristiano this was our only option.

“He told me ‘if Juventus can match the demand, he wants to come’. I was shocked. There was silence.

“I remember when I told (Andrea) Agnelli and (Pavel) Nedved,” the Italian added. “They thought I was crazy!

“The next thing I knew we were at the airport, chartering flights for him and Mendes. It was completely ridiculous.

“Cristiano is a player who can lift Juventus. Who can help us achieve our goals and we simply had to do this deal.”

The Bianconeri face Frosinone on Friday, before travelling to Atlético Madrid in the Champions League on February 20.