Saturday December 17 2016
‘Valencia like Zaza, Cancelo staying’

Valencia sporting director Suso Pitarch admits Simone Zaza is a January target for his club but insists Joao Cancelo will not be joining Barcelona.

Valencia are expected to be among La Liga’s busiest teams in the winter transfer market, given their underachievement this season, although their pursuit of Zaza, an “objective” for Los Che, will not come at the expense of Cancelo, who has been linked with Barca.

“At the meeting, we discussed names and possibilities, gave opinions, did calculations and made predictions, depending on whether there is more or less money to spend,” Pitarch [pictured, left] told AS, referring to the reported crisis between himself, Coach Cesare Prandelli and President Peter Lim.

“Since then, we’ve started having conversations that will hopefully lead us to a successful conclusion as soon as possible, but it’s not easy to get a player from a club in this market and with such urgency.

“Zaza? In the summer, we tried to sign him before the aborted sale of Andre to Real Madrid.

“The Juventus deal included Zaza and Hernanes, but Andre rejected Juve and we ruled [Zaza] out because he was an expensive signing. Still, we like Zaza and he’s one of our objectives.

“What we’d like is that if a player wants to leave, they leave but the club don’t lose money on them, so it’s a deal that satisfies all parties. Enzo Perez? No-one has considered him leaving.

“Cancelo? Cancelo himself has told us he wants to stay. Joao is committed and doesn’t want to leave. We’re counting on all the players who want to be here.

“I’m not Harry Potter and I don’t have a magic wand to know what will happen in the summer. Joao is performing well in both a sporting and personal sense, his agent, too.

“There was no pressure to accept the offers that came for him in summer and it’s the same now.

“This squad lacks a striker, two playmakers and a midfielder. It’s something that the Coach and I have discussed, but there are other conditions, which is the opinion of the board.

“Prandelli’s unveiling was on October 3 and our FFP margin was high thanks to our latest sales. On October 14, we received a notification in which we were told Brussels would suspend the payment date of our €23.3m fine.

“We’ll use what we have and we’ll look to spend what is necessary.”

Football Italia website