Shakhtar Donetsk would’ve gone for Spezia coach Vincenzo Italiano if they didn’t get Roberto De Zerbi from Sassuolo, confirms director Jose Boto.
De Zerbi signed with the Ukrainian club this week, becoming the first Italian coach in their history.
“Shakhtar is not for everyone,” director of sport Boto told Sky Sport Italia.
“We have our specific way of playing football. We had it with Paulo Fonseca and it will be that way with De Zerbi too.
“The only other name we had on the list was Italiano, because he and De Zerbi are the sole tacticians with a style of football that we appreciated.
“We want a coach who above all puts talent first and foremost. He must want to play football without fear, whether we are facing a small club or Chelsea, Manchester City or others. We have to keep the ball and the initiative.”
That is certainly the way De Zerbi approached things with Sassuolo in his three seasons, finishing eighth in Serie A this term.
“You realise straight from the first meeting that De Zerbi is in love with football and lives it 24 hours a day. That is something we appreciated immediately,” concluded Boto.