His preamble on “culture”
” We are very happy. We wanted to use this summer transfer window to change something fundamental at the club. Culture. Two words: ambition and requirement. Whether in the coach, in the profile of the players, in the management, in the employees… we wanted change and continue to transform the club. This is from the owner, we talked a lot during the summer. In all processes it is difficult to accept the changes, even more difficult when you finished second in the Championship and qualified for the Champions League. I asked for patience, calm.
It will be a difficult 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 is good to have a renewal of the workforce, say seven to eight players per summer. That’s healthy. With a change of coach, with totally different, more vertical, more European football, you need even more transfers. We have mentally stronger players, a good group. I was an hour and a half on the phone with Frank McCourt, after the end of the transfer window. The owner is happy with the transfer window we have made, the improvements of the team. »
Frank McCourt (left) and Pablo Longoria. (A. Réau/The Team)
The question of sales
“For us, having an economic balance is important. With the transfer window that we have done, we consider that we are in a positive, even very positive economic situation on June 30 with a potential sale of Bamba Dieng in addition. It’s a good message that I want to convey. The club’s economic situation has allowed us to retain our best players, those with the highest market value. There were different offers for Gerson or Guendouzi, we refused them. For Gerson, it was 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 held 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 ticket office is good. We are working so that the accounts are in the green next June, with sales, continuing in the European competition, looking for new sponsors. It would be more comfortable with the sale of Bamba Dieng, with a nice net capital gain. We still have a winter transfer window, another before June 30. A sale depends on the player’s salary inside the club, the number of years of contract remaining… The players who sell the most expensive are the most physical players, in particular because the Premier League buys the most, and this type of players. We have seen, for example, that the value of Hellas Verona players has exploded. »
The Arkadiusz Milik case
“The question about Milik is a question of profile, not a question of level. A player who evolves with Juventus, a first training and he already plays his first match, a second where he returns and scores (last Wednesday). He is performing, his market value is on full display at a club like Juve. So questioning the level of such a player… We want to respond to the very marked style of play of the coach, we need players adaptable to his system. And the highest salary in the squad must be for the most important player. This is essential for the psychological health of the locker room.
Arkadiusz Milik, in the jersey of OM, has been loaned to Juventus. (F. Porcu/The Team)
(On its price, less than a million euros of paying loan and 7 in purchase option) It is the market price. We had some unfavorable offers from Spain and we decided it was better to loan the player out 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 over the whole of last season. »
The thorny Bamba Dieng file
“The reality is that he is a player under contract with OM. The player wanted to go to Nice, there was an agreement between clubs (OM and Nice), and ultimately it was not acted upon. There are no more negotiations today with Nice. From the moment he comes back, he will have all the rights, like the rest of the players, it will be a sporting decision by the coach, he will decide to make him play matches, or not. On the medical visit to Nice, what happened? There are quite simply different medical visions. With us, the player did not have any injuries last season, except before the last day against Strasbourg, he tried to make a heel and he hurt his tendon.
But our doctors considered him fit for all competitions, he had zero injuries in selection, 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 put this player aside. Why would we do it? He has two years left on his contract, but like Valentin Rongier, like Pape Gueye. It is 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. It’s up to the coach to make the technical choices, after each training session, each friendly match, each weekend of competition… In this position, we thought that recruiting Luis Suarez was the best option to strengthen the team, that’s a question in profile. We are convinced that we made the right decision. »