Juventus forced to sell Matri, says Conte

The striker left the Bianconeri for pastures new on Thursday and the Italian revealed he had little option but to sanction his exit in a bid to balance the books

Antonio Conte has revealed Juventus were forced to sell Alessandro Matri to AC Milan for financial reasons after he moved to the Rossoneri in an €11 million deal.

The Bianconeri have enjoyed a productive summer transfer window, with Fernando Llorente, Carlos Tevez and Angelo Ogbonna all arriving at the club, but those deals have left a sizeable dent in the Old Lady’s balance sheet.

In a bid to balance the books, Conte sanctioned Matri’s exit on Thursday, having already sold Emmanuele Giaccherini to Sunderland, but admitted he did so with a heavy heart.

The 44-year-old told reporters: “Matri’s departure was a painful decision for us but the current economic conditions in Italian football mean we’re forced to sell.

“The sales of Matri and Giaccherini were painful decisions to make. I hear everyone say that the gap over the chasing pack has increased, when in reality we’ve been forced to lose an Italian international and a player who scored the most goals over the past two years and was also an important figure in the dressing room.

“This should represent a clear sign that the current economic conditions in Italian football also apply to Juventus. Aside from certain exceptions such as Napoli, clubs need to sell if they want to buy and we needed to recoup the €20 million spent on Tevez, Llorente and Ogbonna.”

Juve face Lazio on Saturday just a matter of weeks after dismantling the Biancocelesti 4-0 in the Italian Super Cup, but Conte is expecting a completely different encounter this time around.

“Tomorrow will be a different game entirely. A trophy was handed out in Rome and we’re happy to have won it, but the final score doesn’t reflect the difference between the sides.”