MAROTTA IN CHINA - "Hi, nice to meet you Zhang, I am Marotta." Here's the details of this operation
MAROTTA-INTER: IN CHINA
A trip to Nanjing to see Zhang Jindong: objective is to close the Scudetto-gap. On the menu, there is also talk of transfer market.
A trip to Nanjing to see Zhang Jindong. Inter ask to close the gap with Juventus.
A three-man meeting with owner of the club and president Steven: on the plate are ideas, roles, transfer market before signing contract which will last three years.
A Chinese proverb says that “he who returns from a journey is not the same as he who left.” It is with this belief that Beppe Marotta went to see for himself if the saying applies to him too and if he is going to return to Italy with his jacket tinted black and blue. The next CEO of Inter flew to Nanjing on Saturday to meet in person Zhang Jindong, owner of Inter with whom he will try to take revenge on Juventus. All in the presence of his son Steven, with whom Marotta has already laid the foundations of the next few years thanks to three different meetings of recent weeks. This is not the right moment for the signature which will take place at the end of the month when president Steven returns to Italy after the trip to London for the Champions League. But it is certainly a symbolic passage, as well as obligatory. Marotta could officially make an official debut on December 7 at Juventus Stadium agains the team that he led for seven consecutive Scudetti.
The blitz - The clues of the last hours were too clear: a sighting at the airport as Marotta boarded Saturday for Beijing then from there to Nanjing, the place where the fate of Inter is to be decided. Walter Sabatini also did the same before working for Suning. Same with Luciano Spalletti who flew there before officially becoming the Inter coach. That’s how it works, the Zhang family is used to getting involved and sharing every official step in their organizations. This Chinese trip of Marotta is like an initiative. And it is also an obligatory gesture of son Steven to his father: there is no decision to be made without Steven asking father Jindong.
The contract - So it is a meeting of three: Marotta, Zhang senior and Zhang junior. On his part, Marotta wants to hear exactly the plans that Inter have, the guidelines of the near future, the immediate one as the January market is approaching but especially the medium to long-term plan. A three-year contract is ready for the former Juventus executive, a rich contract of €1.5M per season plus big bonuses. On the other hand, Zhang Jindong will take this opportunity to know Marotta’s ideas and modus operandi. Basically: how to reduce the gap with Juventus in the shortest possible time, in addition to guaranteeing consistency on the international level.
The role - All of it are on the table: the official toast is postponed (until end of the month), the unofficial one is taking place. Marotta and Zhang family will also discuss his operating margins included in the contract. The former Juventus executive will be CEO for the sporting aspect of the club, leaving Alessandro Antonello to manage the financial part. So we can exclude the hypothesized initial scenario which was Marotta could become the head of Suning Sports: the Sabatini experiment was not considered positive by the Zhang family and so an encore is to be discarded. Marotta will enter directly into the club, in a horizontal structured accustomed to divide the tasks to several men rather than centralize everything in the hands of one individual. This is the specific request of the Chinese ownership. It is to believed that his entry will not upset the technical area that sees the presence of CFO Giovanni Gardini and sporting director Piero Ausilio.
The revenge - At Inter, Marotta is expected to have an even more complicated task than that of Juventus. He landed in Turin in 2010 to rebuild a team that just finished in seventh place while at Inter, the club has resurfaced in the Champions League. There’s less room for growth to be clear. But perhaps this new adventure is even more stimulating, with a huge motivational charge: to take revenge on Juventus that kicked him to the door.