February 2, 2017
Transfer window: Rivère gives his views
The day following the closing of the transfer window, President Rivère gives his view on the window from a Nice point of view for the readers of OGCNICE.COM
How would you rate this transfer window ?
It was conform to our needs and hopes.We wanted to recruit a midfielder and a wide-player. We have got them. An experienced player, Obbadi, has come to bring us his qualities, as well as a young player, Srarfi, who has a lot of talent but a lot of work still to do. It’s therefore a transfer window which is thinking about the future too. So, a balanced window in terms of both the short and long term.
What are your two new recruits like as players ?
They are ball playing players, intelligent in their style and both technically strong. In terms of strategy, they are two signings that are different but they complement each other.
There were a lot of rumours during the transfer window…
I had to intervene (on RMC, ndlr) during the course of the transfer window to explain the reality of the situation. I am not always 100% transparent during the transfer period. People have been able to see that I was accurate with this window.
“THERE WAS NO OTHER TYPE OF TRANSFER WINDOW WE COULD HAVE HAD”
Did you find all of the rumours embarrassing?
No. When there are rumours, people are of course, waiting for news. When it isn’t completed, the fans turn around and say “what a bad transfer window”. Where as no, there was no other type of transfer window we could have had.
There are rumours, but on the other hand, the Gym’s interest in Memphis Depay and Clément Grenier were indeed accurate…
I am a bit fatalist. Things that are meant to be, happen. Those things that don’t, weren’t meant to be. Depay was struggling at his club. For a player in that situation, you need to get them for an attractive price. We wanted a loan. Lyon chose to make it a huge investment. We will see how he gets on there.
Lyon, who finally preferred the offer from Roma over the once from Nice…
His case was not dependent on Depay. Clément wanted to come to us, and we wanted to sign him too. It was a bit of a gamble too, because it was a player that was failing. And following that logic, we couldn’t take a big financial risk on him. Lyon were looking for unrealistic numbers in our opinion. Our offer didn’t meet what OL wanted. Or at least, we felt that Lyon would finish by saying yes to us but, before that could happen, they received the offer from AS Roma. Of course, they preferred that option because they didn’t want to help reinforce our squad.
A DIFFERENT BEHAVIOUR TOWARDS THE GYM
Did you witness a new attitude from other clubs towards Nice?
That is a certainty. Those that are known as ‘big clubs’ were very clear. They told us that they didn’t want to do business with us because they didn’t want to strengthen us. It’s understandable. If we had been mid-table in the league, we would have been able to sign players that we were prevented from signing during this window.
And was more attention paid to the business you were trying to complete given your recent success in previous transfer windows?
Yes, take Srarfi for example. It’s a player we have been following for a long time, we already had competition abroad and in the end, more clubs have driven the price up because our interest in the player came out in the press. That’s why small lies are almost obligatory for us with the press during the transfer window. As soon as certain clubs know that Nice is focussing on a player, they know that they also have the means to attract him to their club.
“WE SOMETIMES FINALISE TRANSFERS AT THE LAST MINUTE BECAUSE THEY ARE COMPLICATED TO COMPLETE”
The two arrivals this winter were finalised on the last day. Were they last-minute ideas?
We don’t sign a player on a whim at the last moment, because there is the chance for who knows what. We sometimes finalise transfers at the last minute because they are complicated to complete. Obbadi, we have been following for a number of years. We almost signed him two years ago. He went to Italy instead. And now, we had to wait for him to released by Lille.
Srarfi, we have been watching him for a year and a half. 18 months to make contact with the player, his club, scout him, go and watch him several times in Tunisia… There are a lot of steps to go through. It’s a long piece of work conducted by a large team.
Do you have any fears about seeing him on the pitch of the Allianz Riviera soon?
Whilst the lights aren’t all green, you always need to be careful. But the French Football Federation have reassured us with what they have explained. According to the FFF, there should be no problems.