Monday February 6 2017
Giampaolo: 'I was close to Juve'

Sampdoria Coach Marco Giampaolo has revealed that he was close to joining big clubs a few times, giving Juventus as an example.

The 49-year-old took Siena to a 14th-placed finish in Serie A during the 2008-09 season, which he admits prompted interest from the Bianconeri.

"I have been close to big clubs a few times," the Coach told Radio Anch'io Sport.

"They were nice opportunities that did not materialise. It happened with Juventus, with Milan and then with Roma. With Juventus it was after I was in charge of Siena."

Giampaolo was then asked about the situation with Antonio Cassano, which saw the 34-year-old terminate his contract with the club by mutual consent in January.

"He presented himself well to me in pre-season from a physical point of view, so I thought about changing tactics and using a false nine.

"I thought was the role was more suited to him. His behaviour was exemplary with me but I think in the end the choice of a club who wanted to rejuvenate the squad prevailed."

Back in October, the Coach was criticised for fielding a weakened team against Juventus which led to a 4-1 defeat, however such a loss was sandwiched by back-to-back victories over rivals Genoa and Inter. Does he have any regrets over this?

"I would make the same choices again, absolutely. There were serious reasons. Mainly because we had to play three games in a week and I also took the opportunity to rotate my squad of 25 players.

"I made the best choice for physical reasons. As for the Coppa Italia game against Roma, there was no need to have all the players involved in this project, because Serie A matches are difficult and very tiring both mentally and physically."

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