Parma sporting director Daniele Faggiano has conceded that Zlatan Ibrahimovic is a “dream we can’t afford”.
Ibrahimovic has been heavily tipped to return to Italy once his LA Galaxy contract expires next month, but Faggiano warned the 38-year-old was too expensive for Parma.
“He’s an extraordinary player that I dream of seeing at Parma, but today we can’t afford him,” he told The Guardian.
The former Palermo man then revealed how he masterminded the signings of Matteo Darmian and Gervinho, both of whom have personified the Ducali’s revival as a Serie A club.
“It wasn’t easy, believe me. Manchester United clearly didn’t need money from Parma!
“We met with representatives from Manchester United on the phone and via email, they understood our needs and they helped us with Darmian’s demands.
“Manchester United acted like you would expect Manchester United to act and I’m happy and proud to have brought Darmian here.
“I remember the first call with Matteo: I truly wanted to understand if he wanted to come here and I right away understood we were acquiring an extraordinary person with a great spirit of sacrifice.”
Gervinho has been particularly impressive, scoring 16 goals despite being written off before he arrived in the summer of 2018.
“The story is incredible. One day his agent came to our office and offered him to us. I discussed it with my staff. ‘Really, that Gervinho?’
“There was some scepticism since he hadn’t been in Europe for a while, but it was a deal we could take a risk with.
“Someone, who is no longer at our club, tried to get in the way since they didn’t want him but I had made up my mind. I believed in it a lot.
“Some teams wanted him. But he stayed because he feels part of our family; this makes you understand what Parma is all about.”
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