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Mercato: the president’s opinion

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October 7, 2020

Mercato: the president’s opinion

Invited on the daily television show ‘Coeur des Clubs’ on Telefoot on Tuesday, OGC Nice president  Jean-Pierre Rivère shared his thoughts about the club’s mercato. Speaking with Marina Lorenzo, Simone Rovera and Pierre-Yves André, the president spoke about the transfer of Jeff Reine-Adélaïde, finalised late on Monday evening. Verbatim.

Jeff Reine-Adélaïde’s transfer

It may have been finished at the last minute, but he's a player we've been following for a long, long time, since he was at Arsenal. Last year, he was one of our priorities but unfortunately the timing of our return to the club didn't allow us to compete with Lyon. We are very happy to welcome him today.

A question of timing...

I would like to congratulate Julien Fournier, who is doing an excellent job as usual, and the whole scouting team that works with him. It was really a question of timing. If we start too early, it's too complicated, we don't have the space. We couldn't have competed with Rennes on the amount of the transfer, nor with Hertha Berlin. We stayed in the shadows and waited until the last moment. Then we accelerated: we needed Lyon's agreement, and for the player to commit to the project, which was the case. It all came together in the final sprint.

... and a lot of thought

These are not last-minute buys. It's very important: it sometimes happens at the last moment, but we don't say to ourselves in the morning when we wake up: "we need another player, we'll take this one". It's really a long thought process, and then there's the timing to do or not to do an operation. On the famous last day, the timing is good or not good. And you manage to sign a player or not. This has been the case and we are delighted about it.

The missing link in midfield

We needed a certain player in a certain position: Jeff Reine-Adélaïde, was the perfect fit. We are very happy that he was able to sign here.

Negotiating with OL

Between two parties, there are always conditions. We wanted a loan with an option to buy. It ended well for us, and we must also thank Lyon who responded favourably to our request in the last hours of the mercato. How were we able to get ahead of Rennes? The question must be put to the OL but it is true that we have good relations with them, whether it is me with Jean-Michel Aulas or Julien (Fournier) with Vincent Ponsot. But you know, when there is a transaction, generally speaking, it satisfies both clubs. Lyon may have taken the option to reduce its payroll and we are delighted to welcome him. It's a win-win situation.

The Belhanda option

Younès is a player that we know and like... Then there are other factors, financial in particular, for which we have to keep a watchful eye. Things didn't get done, but that doesn't prevent us from appreciating the player. But we didn't use one in relation to the other, it's simply a combination of circumstances. We don't play games with the players.

The mercato prepared in advance

Every season we try to do this well in advance. The financial situation of the new shareholder allows us to anticipate these mercatos very early. This was not the case before, when we had to sell first and then buy. There we were able to buy first, sell later, it's a commitment that we had made and that we were able to respect.

A squad ready for the season

We hope so! I think we have made a good mercato, which we consider as "successful", even if it's on the pitch that will tell us if we have done it well or not. In any case everyone at the club has worked extremely well and I would like to congratulate. We set ourselves a lot of goals and targets and we almost achieved them all.

Afterwards, we had a lot of injuries at the start of the season, which is why we need quality players behind us, but I think we have something to work with. The recruits play and that's the objective: when we take players it's so that they have time to play, and that's what we "sell" to them in the project as well.