In late November, the entire Juventus board resigned after it was revealed that the club was being investigated for financial fraud.
There are a plethora of transfers that the Bianconeri are being investigated for by the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Turin, and these deals involve several other clubs around Italy and the rest of Europe.
A few of the players involved have become established footballers in Serie A while others were youth team players moved on for the sake of making profits.
The investigators say that Juventus have used inflated transfer fees to register capital gains in an unlawful manner. In the long-terms, creating capital gains on assets can lead to tax advantages and subsequently, more money in the bank to reinvest in the playing squad and the club.
Juventus are not just in trouble for capital gains though, as there are also issues relating to deferred salary payments during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Audero, Sturaro, and Spinazzola involved in 2019 deals
According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, one of the biggest transfers under the spotlight is the sale of Emil Audero to Sampdoria for €20 million in 2019, which also saw Juventus purchase Blucerchiati youth players Daouda Peeters and Erasmo Mule for €4 million and €3.5 million respectively.
Samp’s city rivals Genoa were also involved in a transfer that was deemed unusual to the investigators. Juventus sold Stefano Sturaro to the Grifone for €18 million in January 2019, allowing the Bianconeri to register a capital gain of €13.615 million, and the Italian giants also bought Luca Zanimacchia from the Rossoblu for €4 million.
Another deal that was completed in that time was the sale of Leonardo Spinazzola to AS Roma for €29.5 million, which saw La Vecchia Signora record a capital gain of €25.898 million. Meanwhile, Juve completed the acquisition of Luca Pellegrini from the Giallorossi for €22 million, but Bianconeri director Federico Cherubini already knew these deals would arouse suspicion.
“It’s a very long end,” Cherubini said in an intercepted phone call. “It led you to do some operations that otherwise in a context of normality you can’t do. Spinazzola-Pellegrini you cannot do it!”
In August 2019, Edoardo Masciangelo went on loan to Pescara, and he was bought outright from Juventus in January 24, 2020, for €2.3 million, producing a capital gain of €1.5 million for the Bianconeri. On the same day, Matteo Brunori was purchased from the Delfini for €2.8 million.
Deals between Juventus and Manchester City
When Joao Cancelo joined Manchester City in the summer of 2019, the Citizens paid Juventus €65 million for the Portuguese defender, and that allowed the Piemontese side to record a capital gain of €30.442 million. Juve also went on to purchase Danilo for €37 million. Both transactions included a deferred payment in three instalments with one each from 2019 until 2021, and both clubs each had a deadline of August 22 for each year.
The two clubs did business on other deals in the summer of 2020, this time involving two youngsters. The English club paid €10 million for Pablo Moreno, earning the Italians a capital gain of €9.5 million. According to the investigators, a clause was inserted for the Bianconeri to buy Felix Correia for €10.509 million.
Juventus’ deals with Swiss clubs attract attention
Juventus youngsters Cendrim Kameraj and Roman Macek were sold to Swiss club Lugano for a combined figure of €2.359 million on 26 January 2019, and La Vecchia Signora had a capital gain of €2.193 million. On the same day, Juve paid Lugano a total of €2.8 million for Edoardo Masciangelo and Nikita Vlasenko.
According to the prosecutors, Cherubini said to fellow director Fabio Paratici in an email titled ‘Bearing Operations’: “Currently for bearing operations we are put in like this. Lugano: OK they want to do the deal for Kameraj and a player of their choice.”
Sion were another club from Switzerland involved in suspicious transfers with Juventus. The Bianconeri registered a capital gain of €3.778 million when they sold Mattias Andersson to the Swiss side for €4 million in July 2019. In January 2020, Juve then paid Sion €4.912 million for Yannick Cotter.
The investigators wrote: “The necessity of resorting to a player X, who would go to integrate the value of Cotter (originally fixed at €2.7 million), was then overcome by the “rise” of Cotter’s value to the price of €4.9 million.”
Bonucci returns to Juventus and Caldara joins AC Milan
Back in August 2018, AC Milan decided to buy Mattia Caldara from Juventus for €35 million, which meant that the Bianconeri were able to record a capital gain of €21.582 million on the balance sheet. However, Leonardo Bonucci also returned to Juve and he was acquired for €35 million.
Arthur and Pjanic the most infamous of Juventus-Barcelona deals
One of the most controversial transfers in recent memory was Barcelona acquiring Miralem Pjanic from Juventus in the summer of 2020 for €60 million plus €5 million in bonuses. La Vecchia Signora were able to register a capital gain of €43.722 million and they also bought Arthur from the Blaugrana on the same day for €72 million.
Earlier that year in January, Matheus Pereira Da Silva joined Barcelona from Juve on loan with an obligation to be bought outright for €8 million. On the same day, the Bianconeri bought Marques Mendez from the Blaugrana for €8.2 million.
More questionable Juventus deals from 2020
In addition to their dealings with Barcelona in 2020, Juventus got involved in some debatable transfers with more Swiss clubs. Kaly Sene was sold to Basel for €4 million, which meant an incredible capital gain of €3.909 million, and then La Vecchia Signora bought Albian Hajdari from the Swiss giants for €4.38 million.
On January 29, 2020, Sampdoria acquired Nicolo Francofonte, Matteo Stoppa, and Erik Gerbi from Juventus on loan with an obligation to buy them outright for €4 million. On the same day, the Bianconeri purchased Giacomo Vrioni for €4 million to be paid in three instalments, and that resulted in capital gains of €1.7 million (€1.57 from Francofonte and €0.12 million from Stoppa).
On January 30, 2020, Juventus sent Rafael Fonseca on loan to Amiens with an option to be bought outright for €1.5 million. On June 24 of that year, the French club exercised the option, producing a capital gain of €1.4 million, and the Bianconeri also bought Felix Nzouango from Amiens for €1.9 million on July 14.
However, Nzouango’s contract expired at the end of June, so the CONSOB inspectors noted that the operation was carried out as an acquisition despite the player being formally released.
On January 31, 2020, Erik Lanini was sold to Parma for €2.3 million plus €0.5 million in bonuses while Juventus bought Alessandro Minelli off the Ducali for €2.9 million. This operation generated a capital gain of €2.2 million for the Bianconeri.
The investigators have also been keeping an eye on some deals with Serie B club Pisa on June 28, 2020. Lorenzo Loria was sold to the Pisans for €2.5 million, generating a capital gain of €2.4 million, while Juventus paid €3.2 million for Stefano Gori.
Emre Can joins Borussia Dortmund, Atalanta gets Muratore
The sale of Emre Can to Borussia Dortmund certainly raised eyebrows for the Prosecutor’s Office in Turin. Although Juventus recorded a capital gain of €14.7 million and the transfer should have taken place on July 1, 2020, it was included in the financial report on June 30, 2020.
Juventus sold Simone Muratore to Atalanta for €7 million on June 29, 2020, recording a capital gain of €6.6 million. Fabio Paratici admitted to the investigators that this was considered to be a moral fulfilment after the Bianconeri had purchased Dejan Kulusevski in January of that year.
In this scenario, La Vecchia Signora asked La Dea to buy a player worth €3 million, but nobody caught the attention of the Bergamaschi at the time so a deal took place in June instead.
“Said agreements,” the inspectors wrote, “were not represented in the financial report as at June 30, 2020 nor in that of the following financial year.”
Juventus turn to Genoa for more dealings
Elia Petrelli was sold to Genoa for €8 million while Manolo Portanova was also sold to the Grifone for €10 million on January 28, 2021. The total operation of €18 million earned Juventus capital gains of €16.9 million. Nicolo Rovella was acquired by La Vecchia Signora from the Rossoblu on the same day for €18 million. Incidentally, Portanova has also been sentenced to six years in prison for gang rape.
In that same winter transfer window, Franco Tongya was sold to Marseille for €8 million, allowing Juve to record a capital gain of €7.7 million. Meanwhile, Marley Ake went in the opposite direction for the same figure, and the operation was treated as an exchange in the investigator’s report.
Juventus turn to Switzerland and the lower divisions once more
Lugano sold Christopher Lungoyi to Juventus on December, 30, 2020 for €2.5 million, and then on January 11, 2021, the Swiss club acquired Kevin Monzialo permanently from La Vecchia Signora for €2.5 million, resulting in a capital gain of €2.3 million. Ten days later, Lungoyi returned to Lugano on loan.
The Bianconeri also sold Giulio Parodi to Pro Vercelli on January 15, 2021 for €1.3 million, which resulted in a capital gain of the same amount. On that day, Juve bought Davide De Marino for €1.5 million.