Zamparini 360

Maurizio Zamparini speaks to reporters at a press conference

As he is sometimes wont to do, Palermo President Maurizio Zamparini spoke to the press on a variety of topics on Tuesday, giving some insight into the club’s plans for this offseason.

Here is what Zamparini had to say on a variety of topics that give a 360-degree look at Palermo’s past, present and future.

Foschi and Zamparini sit in the stands watching a performance


On Rino Foschi’s Return: “I had a reunion with Foschi and [Beppe] Corti, his head scout. We’ve already outlined the squad and we’re looking for six to seven good players that will help us, without any rush.”

On Foschi’s Tiff with Ballardini: “Foschi didn’t say he would tolerate Ballardini. He’s working with him on the layout of the team. They live 10 kilometers apart, there’s no truth [to the falling out]. Foschi was my first choice. His return [to Palermo] was solely dependent on him.”

On Last Season: “We must pray to Santa Rosalia so that what happened last season doesn’t happen again, when the only coaches should have been Iachini and Ballardini. Instead, what happened, happened – Sorrentino, too, with his words on television [in the post-match interview last December that essentially sacked Ballardini after Verona – Palermo]. Even more, I signed an important director and it will be Foschi to speak with the coach. With Foschi, it’ll be difficult to make coaching changes.”

On Ballardini’s Confirmation: “I kept Ballardini because he did well and knows the squad. He made peace with Foschi and today we’re only looking at the football side of things. We’re make a competitive team.”


On Future Club Acquisition: “I have two meetings this week, today we prepared the budget and worked on the balance sheet. I hope to meet [John] Viola, but if he’s denying [his interest] why must I confirm it? I don’t have contacts just with them, though, I have some with others. Palermo doesn’t have real value, it depends on how much new business partners are willing to invest. I’ll sell 90% of Palermo. Even if I don’t sell, I will not be president any longer. We’re preparing a few things, it won’t be a very fast negotiation.”

On the Executive Structure of the Club: Palermo in the coming years must have a budget that can play to its strengths and I have a lot of faith in Foschi and [Stefano] Pedrelli, just like [Roberto] Felicori takes care of the relationship with Lega [Calcio/Serie A]. They are the administrative nucleus. [Angelo] Baiguera will give me a hand with marketing and the press, he’ll reinforce our website.”

On the Sale of Franco Vazquez: “Foschi is in charge for [the sale of] Vazquez and other sales. Certainly, it’s easier if Vazquez goes to England today. I’m asking for 25 million euro for Vazquez. I’ve had lower offers, but to me, he’s worth as much as [Domenico] Berardi. We’re also looking for an arrangement for Lazaar. We’re not looking for a substitute for Vazquez. Ballardini will change formation and will play with three attackers. I see Vazquez good anywhere, he’s undervalued and I don’t know why. He could easily fit in well at Leicester. Milan and Roma were interested bu if I see Berardi paid 25 million, then I’d take Vazquez. Unfortunately, Franco doesn’t speak and doesn’t have the character to impose himself. Even at Palermo, he was out of the squad in Serie B. I’m in contact with Tottenham, I’m asking for 25 million and we’ll see what happens.”

Alberto Gilardino celebrates a goal with his trademark celebration playing a viola


On the Future of Gilardino: “His permanence depends on Foschi and Ballardini. We have a few important players from the youth team. Two or three will be integrated with the senior team. In Italy, young Italians cost a king’s ransom.”

On the Possible Acquisition of Mirko Valdifiori: “No.”

On Requests for Hiljemark: Hiljemark is our player, if someone should want him, then we’ll think about substituting him.”

On the Lack of a Meeting with Ballardini: “It’s just like all the other years when the season ends with a coach [under contract], I meet them in preseason. Why should I meet with him before then? He was under contract, it’d have been abnormal. I talked to him on the phone like Foschi did to get an opinion on the team for next year. If anything, I will invite him to lunch as a friend.”

On the New Stadium and Training Center: “I’m very serene because the city administration is pushing for the stadium. The city of Carini must pay me to build the training center. If they let me do it, then I’ll build it in Carini. Otherwise, I’ll find another spot.”

On Synergy with Cesena: “Cesena will be a club that’s close to us. I promised that to [Cesena President Giorgio] Lugaresi. Rino will collaborate with Cesena and we’ll be happy to give a few young players to Cesena.”

Carlos Embalo running at Palermo practice


On Transfer Market Acquisitions: “Two very strong midfielders will arrive to go alongside those that are already there. Embalo will return from Brescia and naturally, the forward that was the high scorer in Croatia, too [Ilia Nestorovski]. We’re looking for another important striker.”

On Players on Loan: “Djurdjevic will not be confirmed, as well as Cristante. For Brugman, we’ll see if Pescara is promoted to Serie A. They have an obligation to redeem Benali. Brugman is in our team but hasn’t shown his value. I’m happy if he stays, but two other valuable midfielders will arrive. Benali has a redemption set at one million, but I trusted Iachini who defined him as ‘not valid’.”

On the Primavera Youngsters: “I want to promote Simone Lo Faso to the senior team, I like him a lot. Bentivegna needs to play an entire season, Insigne demonstrated his qualities at Pescara.”

Josip Posavec on the field for Palermo


On Posavec’s Promotion to Starting Goalkeeper: “I think this year [Sinisa] Mihajlovic gave Milan a fortune by launching [Gigi] Donnarumma. Without Mihajlovic, he’d have been the third goalkeeper. Posavec will be the fortune of Palermo because he has the best goalkeeper coach in Italy in Vincenzo Sicignano.”

On the Relationship with Gianni Di Marzio: “He supports me. We’ve been friends for many years and he’s a brother and a peer. He’s my adviser.”

On Quaison’s Future: “When a coach arrives, they all think they he’s a guarantee, but if a good offer comes in, he could leave. His agents are my friends. There are no problems.”