Transfer news

Conte: Juve can't afford Jovetic

July 11, 2013
By Ben Gladwell, Italy Correspondent

Antonio Conte has ruled Juventus out of the running for Fiorentina forward Stevan Jovetic, saying no club in Italy can afford him.

Stevan Jovetic
GettyImagesJovetic has been strongly linked with Manchester City.

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The Viola are demanding €30 million for the Montenegro international, who is seeking a new challenge after five years in Florence. Reports suggest Manchester City are leading the race for the 22-year-old, while The Sun has claimed Manchester United are also interested, and Conte does not believe any Serie A side could afford him.

“Jovetic has a high price tag, but it’s justified,” the Juve coach said at a press conference on Thursday afternoon. “He’s a top player and he could be worth even more than €30 million in the future. He’s going to go to a club who have this kind of money, and that’s not in Italy. Other clubs in Europe are better off than us.”

Juve have now completed the signing of Angelo Ogbonna from city rivals Torino and he becomes their third new arrival this summer after Carlos Tevez and Fernando Llorente, but little over €20 million has been invested in that trio.

“We’re trying to add players who can help us to improve while bearing in mind the economic crisis that is affecting everybody,” Conte said. “Still, we’ve done something extraordinary because improving the quality of your squad with only €9 million for Tevez and Llorente is extraordinary.”

Juve’s league rivals have not been so active in the transfer market this summer so far, yet that does not mean the Bianconeri will have such an easy march to a third straight title, with Conte expecting Napoli to challenge under new coach Rafa Benitez.

“Napoli will still spend the money they earn from selling Cavani and they have already made one big signing that is being underestimated too much, and that is Benitez,” he said.

Inter Milan, meanwhile, have appointed former Napoli coach Walter Mazzarri, while Fiorentina have signed Mario Gomez from Bayern Munich.

“Inter have a great coach, Milan lost only to us since January and Fiorentina cannot be considered a small club. With Gomez, they are also a big club who can aim for high. It’s going to be a beautiful and stimulating season.”