Carnevali: ‘Berardi sought exit, Locatelli only wanted Juve’

Sassuolo director Giovanni Carnevali confirms Domenico Berardi had asked to leave over the summer, while Manuel Locatelli rejected Arsenal for Juventus.

The CEO spoke at the Social Football Summit in Rome and discussed some of the deals that did and did not go through around the Mapei Stadium.

“Our philosophy is to focus on young players, so seeing Italy win the Euros with some of these youngsters in the squad is marvellous,” said Carnevali.

Among them, and expected to start this evening against Northern Ireland in the crunch World Cup qualifier, is Sassuolo icon Berardi.

“Berardi is a product of our youth academy, so there is an emotional aspect that binds us. He is fundamental for Sassuolo, but unlike previous years, he did ask to leave over the summer.

“However, the conditions had to be right for everyone involved and the conditions were not right for Sassuolo.”

A different UEFA EURO 2020 winner did move on from the Neroverdi, as Locatelli finally pushed through his transfer to Juve after months of negotiations.

“Locatelli deserved this move to Juve and had helped us out over the last few years. We sold Marlon for €12m this summer, Ciccio Caputo to Sampdoria and Locatelli at the conditions we wanted after two months of talks.

“Manuel only wanted to go to Juve, we received offers from Arsenal and other clubs, but there was nothing we could do. He was determined.”

Carnevali was also asked about the controversial European Super League project that was announced and quickly retracted in April, involving Serie A sides Juventus, Inter and Milan.

“What I did not like was the behaviour of the clubs, as we were kept entirely in the dark. Some of the ideas were fair, but the system has to be changed from the top.

“Inter, Milan and Juve ought to help our system to grow rather than just focusing on themselves.”