Arthur, Cancelo, Osimhen: the biggest Serie A transfers under investigation

COVISOC has informed the FIGC of possible capital gains by inflated valuations, highlighting, among others, Victor Osimhen’s move from LOSC Lille to Napoli and Juventus’ exchange deal with Barcelona for Arthur Melo.

Reports have emerged regarding a possible transfer scandal in Serie A, as COVISOC has flagged 62 suspicious transfers, which ended up at the FIGC Prosecutor’s Office.

Capital gains through exchange deals have been discussed in recent years, due to the difficulty of establishing a precise market value for players who are included in swap deals.

The Federal Prosecutor is investigating into possibly inflated valuations to help clubs balance their budgets.

COVISOC has decided to highlight these operations and 42 of the cases concern Juventus, who have been doing business with clubs like Olympique Marseille, Sampdoria, Parma, Genoa, Barcelona and Manchester City.

Credit: Il Tempo

Juventus’ ‘suspicious’ exchange deals

The biggest cases include the swap deal with Manchester City, when Joao Cancelo and Danilo switched clubs in August 2019.

The exchange deals are reportedly reaching a value of €90m for the Bianconeri, but only just over €3m changed hands when former director Fabio Paratici – who is currently plying his trade at Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League – ran the transfer operations at Continassa.

Il Tempo published a list of the transactions that are under investigation, as Danilo was valued at €37m when he arrived at the club, with Joao Cancelo valued at €65m when he moved in the opposite direction.

Juventus have another big-money operation including Miralem Pjanic, who is currently playing at Besiktas in Turkey.

The Bosnia international moved to Spanish giants Barcelona ahead of 2020-21, when Brazilian midfielder Arthur Melo arrived at the Allianz Stadium.

Pjanic was valued at €60.8m when he joined the Blaugrana but struggled to convince at Camp Nou in the following season and was sacrificed by Ronald Koeman ahead of 2021-22.

Arthur was given a valuation of €72m when he moved to Juventus, as part of the operation with the La Liga side.

Pereira Da Silva joined Barcelona in the same window and the swap deal seeing Alejandro Marques join the Old Lady is also part of the list of suspicious deals.

Juventus made a similar operation with Genoa, when Nicolò Rovella was valued at €18m when joining the Bianconeri, with Manolo Portanova and Elia Petrelli used as makeweight to match the total amount of the deal with the Grifone.

Both Rovella and Marques’ contracts were set to expire six months before the signed for Juventus.

Napoli, Parma and Sampdoria with a series of suspicious cases

Included in the long list published by Il Tempo, the controversial negotiation that helped the Azzurri sign Osimhen is of course the standout case.

The Nigerian joined Napoli on a deal valued at €71.25m, according to the report, with Orestis Karnezis, Claudio Manzi, Ciro Palmieri and Luigi Liguori going in the opposite direction for a total of €20.13m.

Palmieri and Liguori have then returned to Italy and are now playing for Nocerina and Afragolese respectively. Both clubs are in Serie D, Italy’s fourth division.

But the Partenopei are not the only ones joining the Bianconeri on the list, as Parma, Pescara, Sampdoria and Chievo Verona are mentioned on the list of suspicious cases reported to the FIGC by COVISOC.

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