Fans are mainly interested in summer`s transfer window. This one started early for Partizan.
“We are aware how we finished the season. It was one of the worst in the history of the club. We finished as fourth-placed which is unacceptable for us. It`s clear we were lacking something so we started our work early in the transfer window. New left-back Antic will join training tomorrow as he is now back in Russia finishing his paperwork with the previous club. Over the next few days we expect the arrival of a new defensive midfielder. I can see there are articles in the papers about it but we are saying no more until the deal is fully struck. Moreover, we are close to signing a goalkeeper. Our aim, the target of our sporting department, sporting director and coach is to have five or six new players signed but it also depends on the departures. At this moment, we can say we closed the deal on three new signings and after talking to you I`ll be on my way to work on our fourth signing. It`s hard to get a player this early, in June, even in July, players are waiting for more offers. None of the three players we are signing are a free transfer”, said Milos Vazura.
What`s going on with Nemanja Jovic?
“It`s not good, he is not with training with us, he didn`t show up for a pre-season. I can see players are getting more support from the media outlets than we do, I don`t think that`s how it should be. We deserve more support when we talk about young players. Just take a look at the Serbian national team, how many former Partizan youths are there. Any former young player could have sued Partizan – Vlahovic, Milenkovic, Pavlovic, Lukic, Zivkovic – but it didn`t happen. His wages were progressively on the rise but we are not talking about 900,000 Euros per year as the rumours go. There was a bit of a debt and he filed for a contract termination, it`s on our team of solicitors now to work on it now. It would be the same as if I sue my parents who taught me to walk, eat and talk – it`s not normal and I don`t expect media outlets to support it. We are always open to talks, especially with our academy graduates. This is not normal situation or behaviour as Jovic never showed there was a problem, he was there in the squad and playing until the very end of the season. Unfortunately, bad things happened around him, something the club could have no influence on. We can only do what`s in our powers, after that it`s about people around him”.
Hamidou Traore left. Do you plan any more contract terminations?
“We do. Traore left as sporting department had other plans and new player on defensive midfield position will arrive in a few days. We have to release some players, we talked to Andrade`s agent and we are close to terminate his contract. Everyone else is still here, we are waiting for Sanicanin, Vujacic and Diabate to return from international duty. We need five signings within the next two weeks, before we go to Slovenia pre-season camp. We might not finish all five deals but four of these new signings should be here by the end of the week”.
Do you remember such a squad reconstruction since you took over as a club director?
“I do actually. Last season we had many departures. I talk on behalf of the board and the board is listening what football department has to say. We don`t make these decision, it`s up to sporting director`s team and coach himself. Last season we decided not to sign new deals with players whose contracts expired, seven or eight of them, and more players departed as well. Priority is to promote our youngsters, to have more of them in the starting line-up. That`s far from easy as it`s a risky business. We have lots of youngsters within the squad this year and they will get their playing time, coach Duljaj supports the idea, but we have to sign new players too. Duljaj was clear about new additions needed for domestic league and Europa Conference League qualifiers”.
What`s going on with youngster Matija Popovic?
“I don`t know where you got the info he was going to sign a professional contract. He`s a Partizan youth and we talked to his father but we are not going to tolerate extortion. As long as I`m in the club we are not going to allow percentage deals as they wanted 50% of further sale. We did make an offer to player, the biggest one in the history of the club as we think Popovic is a great talent. This offer still stands but there`s no reply at the moment. If he does sign, that`s great, if not – I wish the kid all the best in his life”.
Is it about the father or the agent?
“We have normal communication with his agent and his father had one meeting with me. Trust us a bit more when we talk about the young players as we have seven of them in national teams. We had this with other parents before but we are not adding a kid to the senior squad if things are not fully clear. Parents want the best for their children and they love them so much but trust me – we take care of our kids as parents and want only the best for them. Therefore, we can`t make a deal because we are not talking about football and lawful terms. We can`t avoid regulations to make someone pleased. Partizan will be there with or without these players. We all know what football is about – we had great talent that disappeared off the scene and vice-versa”.
There`s rumours of Ricardo`s departure.
“There`s no official offer for Ricardo. It`s his second spell with the club and we treat him as he is Partizan kid all over. We wish some kids had attitude towards club as Ricardo does. We`ll agree everything we have to with him. His desire is to stay here but you cannot ignore finances coming from countries like Qatar or Saudi Arabia. They offer huge wages, we cannot match them. However, there`s no specific offer for Ricard and he`s here for the time being. There will be departures as we have to keep afloat but we`ll try to keep Ricardo”, said Milos Vazura.