Branca to SS24: "Transfers, a question of timing"

APPIANO GENTILE – gives you part 2 of the exclusive interview that
Marco Branca, the Nerazzurri’s technical director, gave to Andrea Paventi of Sky Sport 24.

Andrea Ranocchia seems to be the defender turning in the most positive
performances so far this season. Was it possible he could have been for sale
this summer?

"There are two ways to answer this question: to say ‘no’ right away or to
explain it better. There was never anything to that story and Andrea was always
the first one to admit that he didn’t play like he should have last season. We
never had the least desire to put him up for sale because when you make choices
regarding a player like this you have to be certain of his value. And then if
something isn’t going right and affecting his ability to perform well, then you
must have the humility to understand why. We’ve always had this humility and
fortunately he has it as well, and so we’re working together to get Andrea back
to his old level."

Let’s talk about two transfers
that didn’t come to fruition; why aren’t Lavezzi and Lucas Inter players today?

"For a very simple reason; because with our capabilities we started sooner, much sooner, than the others in this in the course of work. Now that we’re talking about opportunities I can tell you that they must be taken advantage of in certain times of the transfer market, because the first thing that I would say to anyone who comments on this sport, which we truly love, is that from the commentator’s chair you must keep in mind the general economic situation of the given moment. Therefore, we started before the others, but we also realised before the others that certain changes – and I don’t want to call them sales – wouldn’t fit. Our club sold players like Maicon and Julio Cesar who made history here, and technically I bought and sold both of them. That’s not something that pleases me but they’re things that must be done, and at a certain point the club and the players need fresh stimulus and motivation. Having said that, it’s not possible to make decisions on the moment without a certain kind of economic coverage, so we didn’t move for them. And also because no one in Italy can be in the running at certain prices that only four of five clubs in the world can manage."

In your opinion did transfers
like those for Fredy Guarin and Alvaro Pereira not quite get the recognition
they deserved? Perhaps regarding the Uruguayan you could give us a few more
details in particular, since before closing the deal there were two days in
which you were practically locked inside the Porto president’s house… 

"During my stay there were three teams, two from England and one from Germany, that were practically offering more than we were. The key to the operation? I like my club because it has a certain philosophy, which is not remembering titles or other things, because you won’t ever hear me saying that I’m the most successful director in Inter’s history, or that we’ve won this, that or the other thing. There’s a philosophy of considering the good of the team with absolute honesty, both intellectually and practically. They were transfers that were done well, with the maximum possible savings made and we’re all convinced that they’re players who can defend our colours well. As for how they were done that’s a private affair, but I truly have to thank – for the atmosphere, not so much for who came out the better – the Porto president because we had already made even further savings on the first deal, but probably also because those are situations in which a special bond is established between the two clubs that are also in harmony as regards the way they have historically been run."

If Mario Balotelli and Mattia Destro were part of Inter would they
leave, considering the current state of the transfer market?

"This was also a question of timing. For example, Mario left after winning the treble and we already would have had to open a certain type of economic discussion, which doesn’t mean one or two years ago but probably even earlier. Only that first, for reasons of love, passion and attachment money was spent that shouldn’t have been, as it happens with nearly all of our clubs. Therefore, from a planning perspective you can consider it, but then later if in that particular moment the transfer market offers you only that possibility of cashing in on something then you have to make certain small sacrifices. The same goes for Destro, who we had to sell in an emergency defensive situation because Samuel was hurt and we needed to make an investment in a young, strong Italian. It was also for our future and to lower certain costs. So to buy Andrea Ranocchia we had to give up Destro who was part of our Primavera team. These things are very simple."

How did you interpret president Moratti’s statement yesterday when he commented
on Giampaolo Pazzini’s hat-trick in his AC Milan debut ("We certainly
didn’t make ourselves look good on this one").

"I think I said something similar without thinking about us because I
believe that when you make a decision you can comment on it for a day, meaning
the next day, but then you need to be convinced of what you do. Once I said it
was a choice for the team made by Inter and by AC Milan. I think it should
finish there."

Will January be the month of Paulinho?

"We haven’t made any decisions, nor have we made any type of agreement. We
decided to do our best for this transfer window. Now we have many games ahead
of us and we must draw all possible signs from them in order to move forward in
the league and in the Coppa Italia. After that, again coming back to this subject of timing, we’ll see what January has in store for us."

Is he a player you’re man-marking or zonal-marking for January?

"No, zonally now. We prefer a modern game."

Considering how this Inter team is constructed, just how far can it go? All the way in all competitions?

"When you’re part of Inter you have an obligation; to try to always aim for
the top. The intention is to have the mentality to fight for the highest spots.
This is the intention, and then clearly the results on the pitch will have
their say on the matter."

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