Thursday June 18 2015
Prandelli was close to Juventus

Cesare Prandelli reveals he could have joined Juventus on two occasions, and discusses his Galatasaray experience.

The former Italy CT is currently out of work after being dismissed by the Turkish club, and explains he turned down the Bianconeri twice before taking the Azzurri job.

“Was I close to Juventus? A few years ago, yes,” Prandelli explained, in an interview with Corriere dello Sport.

“The first time, when I was at Parma, I spoke to [Luciano] Moggi, [Antonio] Giraudo and [Roberto] Bettega.

“The second time was before I renewed with Fiorentina and I spoke to [Alessio] Secco, and the third time I spoke with Bettega when Fiorentina said I could speak to other clubs.

“Then I went to the national team.”

Following his resignation from the Italy job after World Cup elimination, Prandelli had an unhappy spell at Galatasaray, and gave his version of events.

“I met with [then-President] Unal Aysal, he said ‘you are the right person for my project'.

“I said that I didn’t believe in his projects. He told me he was buying an Italian feeder club, one English, one German, one Belgian, four clubs in Europe with 1,600 youngsters. I’d Coach for a year and then be in charge of all those clubs.

“I got up, and said ‘I can’t believe that’. Again, he said ‘you’ll have 150 people working with you. Galatasaray have 30 million fans, we’re not talking about a small club, there are eight million in Germany alone'.

“It was a huge thing, but there it was. I knew after [a friendly defeat in] Vienna it would never happen as I’d been told.

“The lady, Ebru Koksal, came to me in August and told me ‘what the President said to you was only an idea, we have problems’.

“She was a Galatasaray board member. I spoke to the President and he said ‘don’t worry, these are all internal strategies. Now we’ll have a big party, the fans all love you, you’ll see, we’ll find the money’.

“Instead, he resigned and I didn’t see him again. Then the new owners came in, they told me ‘don’t worry, we don’t want to change, we’re top of the table’.

“Then they fired a load of people, and me too. They were sorry, but they had to meet UEFA parameters by December 27.

“The new President called me 10 days before the elections and said ‘I was there, I know what they said, we’ll find an agreement’.

“In the end we reached an agreement [on compensation]. They came to Italy and we met. That was 20 days ago.”

The former Fiorentina Coach also gave his tips for next season’s Serie A, and believes Juventus are still the team to beat.

“Juve are favourites, but Roma could be a real rival. Then if Napoli don’t disturb the technical project of [Rafa] Benitez are a Scudetto-worthy team.

“Lazio have considerable room for improvement, while Milan are making good moves.

“Then there’s Inter, with Mancio [Roberto Mancini], who knows how to win. He’s one of the best.”

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