Sassuolo CEO Giovanni Carnevali underlined the talismanic status of Domenico Berardi and explained why he refused to sell Rogerio to Spartak Moscow.

Berardi has been heavily linked with a move away from Reggio-Emilia this summer, a relatively common occurrence in transfer windows, with Lazio reportedly working to try and find a deal for him.

Lazio president Claudio Lotito claimed that Berardi was asking for ‘a frightening amount’ of money and that last year ‘tore up’ a contract agreed with Juventus, explaining why the Roman side are looking at other targets.

Speaking on page 17 of today’s Gazzetta dello Sport, Carnevali first responded to Lotito’s comments.

“That it was an inelegant statement. Domenico, as well as being a champion, is a serious professional, certain statements aren’t part of reality.

“I’ll say something else: last year, for example, practically all the big clubs asked for information about Domenico. All except Juventus. So…”

He was asked about Berardi’s prior interest in a move to Juventus.

“But this is something that has been said for some time. He was young, there was an important approach by the Bianconeri but he made other choices, staying with us.

“Berardi is our talisman and his economic value is in line with his abilities, and he can be purchased by those who can afford him.”

The Sassuolo CEO touched on the current transfer status of the Italian winger.

“He’s our talisman that we’d like to stay here. I see the fact that he is associated with big teams in a positive way, we know how to give value to our boys.

“But I repeat, I hope he’ll also stay because the concept of being a talisman has almost vanished. In this football that follows the path of money, well, one example that remains never hurts our football.”

Carnevali confirmed that he refused to sell Rogerio to Spartak Moscow for ethical reasons.

“Very true. The negotiation was done by his agent, there was a very important proposal of €8m and considering everything we decided not to proceed as owners and management. Ethical reasons, we didn’t want to do a deal with a Russian club.”

He was asked about the fact that he refused to do a deal despite the fact that the Brazilian’s contract expires next year.

“We wanted to make conscience prevail, not to do business with a certain country. And yes, at the cost of losing him for nothing. It’s not that Rogerio is no longer on the market.

“He is. But the choice was of a different nature, if offers should arrive from other clubs, we will evaluate them.”

The Neroverdi CEO touched on how clubs are refusing to let players hold the power lately, like the cases of Inter and Romelu Lukaku or Paris Saint-Germain and Kylian Mbappe.

“A delicate but also very important topic. There are many football clubs in difficulty and the fact that we have more power over the players seems right to me. And I think even now. The important thing is to always do everything with extreme common sense.”

He gave his thoughts on the work of Saudi Arabian clubs this summer.

“I still can’t imagine what the future might be there. With the list of players they’ve brought to the league, things don’t change, they aren’t enough. They should really redo a lot of teams. Certainly, such figures destabilize our league…”

Finally, Carnevali asked if he was sorry to have sold Davide Frattesi to Inter.

“Sassuolo have shown that you can stay in Serie A for a long time by enhancing your players. Answering that, I’m not sorry. I’m happy. Actually, happy for him.”

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