Fabio Paratici is expected to arrive in a new role at Tottenham Hotspur this week and he will bring with him 11 years of experience at Juventus.
The 48-year-old joined the Italian giants in 2010 as technical area coordinator, before being appointed sports director a year later and he was heavily involved in transforming the club’s scouting, youth sector and the creation of Juventus Women and the club’s U23s side.
In November 2018, after the exit of Beppe Marotta who brought Paratici from Sampdoria with him, the younger man assumed the position of chief football officer and then from October last year, the title of managing director of the Football Area.
Paratici’s title at Tottenham is yet to be announced but the club will be hoping that he can repeat some of his transfer successes in Turin when he arrives in north London.
He has already begun planning for the summer with Tottenham and potential sales to raise funds for transfers he has earmarked, while he will also have a key say in who the club’s next head coach will be.
The Italian has had a number of transfer misses – which we’ll cover in an accompanying article soon – and there have been question marks over his ability to sell players with big contracts at times in order to balance the Juventus squad, but there is little doubt that Paratici has made some stunning signings – both expensive and cheap – during more than a decade at the Serie A giants.
Here are just ten of his best, with some of the older ones which would have been achieved in conjunction with Marotta and a couple who are set to be big in the future:
There’s only one place to start of course and that’s with the transfer labelled ‘the deal of the century’ by many in Italy.
Juventus came out of nowhere to sign one of the world’s best in Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid for £99m in 2018, with Paratici key to the deal following his talks with agent Jorge Mendes.
The Portuguese might have been 33 at the time but he has since scored 101 goals in 133 games for Juventus, winning two Serie A titles and the Coppa Italia.
Paratici was involved with the free transfer of the then 19-year-old Paul Pogba in 2012 as his contract expired at Manchester United, a move that upset Sir Alex Ferguson.
The Frenchman went on to become a star at Juventus, scoring 34 goals and laying 40 assists in 178 performances and was sold back to United for a then world record £89m just four years later.
It’s not just youngsters who Juventus snapped up for free during Paratici’s tenure.
Just a year into his time in Turin, the club managed another ‘deal of the century’ in bringing in 32-year-old Andrea Pirlo on a free transfer as his contract at AC Milan was coming to an end after 10 years at the club, with some thinking the midfielder finished.
He wasn’t. The world class Italy international would win the Serie A title with Juventus in each of his four seasons at the club before heading off to the MLS to wind down his career.
Paratici has continued to show his ability to engineer free transfer in recent years with the signings of Adrien Rabiot and Dani Alves, as well as the more criticised arrival of Aaron Ramsey.
The Argentine was signed as a 21-year-old for £23m from Palermo in 2015 and while some might question whether Dybala has truly reached his full potential, he has netted 100 goals and provided 41 assists in his 254 matches for the club.
A knee injury saw him struggle to make many appearances this season but, now 27, he is being tipped to become a future captain of Juventus once Ronaldo moves on.
Some Tottenham fans will be hoping that Paratici’s arrival might help them try to sign Dybala again at some point.
There was another Argentine that Juventus snapped up for just £8m plus add-ons and that was Carlos Tevez, who was brought in from Manchester City.
The then 29-year-old spent just two seasons at the Italian club but netted 50 goals in 96 matches, plus adding 19 assists.
Paratici called signing Tevez his most difficult transfer at Juventus.
“The longest one was for Carlos Tevez. We had already reached out to him on our first season, when we had not done well and we were looking to bounce back,” he said in a Sky Sport documentary in Italy.
“We called him even if we did not qualify to Champions League and that is a problem for big-time players. He gave his greenlight nonetheless, but we did not manage to buy him for economic reasons. However, we stayed in touch and bringing him in became my goal.”
Juventus grabbed 24-year-old Arturo Vidal for just £9m from Bayer Leverkusen in 2011 and he would become a mainstay of the team.
The Chilean played 171 games in midfield during his four years at the club, scoring 48 goals and providing 25 assists as Juventus claimed four consecutive Serie A titles, winning the club’s player of the year prize in 2013.
He was also named in the Serie A Team of the season for both the 2012/13 and 2013/14 campaigns.
There’s two sides to this coin. Juventus snapped up the 18-year-old from PSG on a free transfer, recognising his talent and handing him a five-year contract.
However, after just a year in Turin they agreed a two-year loan deal with Bayern Munich taking Coman with an option to buy.
The German side took up that £24m deal and while Juventus made a big profit, they sold one of the Europe’s top prospects.
This one might not go down too well with Tottenham fans but the former Arsenal man has proved to be an astute signing for Juventus.
The Poland international signed for just £10m after two seasons on loan at Roma having become known for his mistakes with the Gunners towards the end of his time there.
Paratici took a chance on the keeper and saw him as the successor to Gianluigi Buffon, which came to pass after just a season, following some eye-catching displays in the Italian’s injury-enforced absence in his first campaign.
Szczesny has gone on to rebuild his reputation in Italy, winning three consecutive Serie A titles and the Serie A Goalkeeper of the Year award following the 2019/20 campaign.
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Ones for the future
Paratici struck a deal for the US wonderkid with Schalke which spread Juventus’ financial obligations across the following seasons.
The deal saw the midfielder snapped up first on a one-year £4m loan deal with an option to buy him, which would become an obligation to buy him for £16m (with £6m in add-ons) if he met certain targets, with the club able to pay the money within three years.
The versatile 22-year-old has now become a key player at Juventus and that deal is looking to be a bargain.
The 21-year-old Swede winger is a star in the making.
Paratici signed him as a 19-year-old from Atalanta for £30m midway through an impressive loan spell at Parma.
This season he began to make his mark at Juventus and there are very high hopes for his future.