Udinese “have no intention of selling our crown jewels,” warned patron Giampaolo Pozzo ahead of the Champions League qualifier.
The Friulani have become famous for finding young talents and selling them off to bigger clubs, so many are hovering around for the likes of Mehdi Benatia, Mauricio Isla, Luis Muriel and Kwadwo Asamoah.
“First of all I’d like to point out no real concrete offers have arrived for our players, but above all Udinese have no intention of selling our crown jewels,” said Pozzo.
“We do not intend to throw away all the good work we’ve done with such effort over the last two years. The team and staff have done exceptionally well and the club is working to ensure they have at their disposal the players, infrastructure and environment that is modern, efficient and state of the art.
“Those can help us reach our real objective, which is to consolidate the step up in quality we have made in the last two years.”
This is the second consecutive campaign that has seen Udinese reach the Champions League preliminary round, finishing fourth in Serie A last season and third this term.
“We have neither need nor desire to sell our prize assets. The world economic situation is clear to all and I don’t think, aside from the top three or four European clubs, that there are so many geese laying golden eggs to satisfy our players more than we could here in Udine.
“A new stadium and the Champions League, which we intend to experience for as long as possible, can allow us to make that step forward in quality and in economic importance.
“We are doing the practically impossible to make Udinese a top level club and the results are proving us right. Clearly if Real Madrid or Barcelona were to come knocking, it’s like winning the lottery for a player.
“I think everyone should realise that Udinese is becoming a point of arrival and not just a stepping stone,” continued Pozzo.
“After having reached Paradise, we want to stabilise our position at the top. Antonio Di Natale is the perfect example of how you can grow old happy in every aspect, while going round the world you risk being burned and ending your career early.
“We finished third, qualified for the Champions League preliminary round and now want to go forward. I haven’t the slightest intention of tolerating anyone who has even the slightest desire to ruin all the hard work and sweat we’ve put in to get here.”
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's World Cup tipster competition - £10,000 to be won!