Gianluca Di Marzio, the voice of the transfer window, this Italian passion


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Rome (AFP) – « In the street, no one asks me who will play with Milan on Sunday, between Ibrahimovic or Giroud, but rather who will sign in June! » Journalist Gianluca Di Marzio is one of the best experts in the transfer window, this Italian passion.

« With us, negotiations and meetings between clubs and agents take place almost in the light of day, in hotels, a bit like a fair », describes the one who has been unveiling and deciphering transfers for almost twenty years, at the television, on Twitter (1.5 million subscribers) and on its own site.

« I haven’t seen that in other countries, or quite recently in England, this desire to experience the transfer window as a reality TV show, » the 47-year-old journalist told AFP, with a laughing look. beard and phone always at hand.

This taste for « calciomercato » comes to him from his father, Gianni, who was reconverted in the 1990s into a sports director (in Cosenza and Venice) after having been a trainer (in Naples or Genoa).

« When I was 15 or 16, he took me with him to hotels where negotiations were taking place, my passion was born from those days spent by his side. »

His easier contacts with football players then allowed him to get good information out as a journalist, quickly becoming an expert in the transfer window, first on local TVs before joining Sky Sport.

Well done to Mourinho

To the point of becoming, according to a ranking established a few years ago by the American television channel ESPN, one of the « fifty most influential men and women » in world football.

Sky Sports reporter, writer and football transfer market specialist Gianluca Di Marzio in Milan on December 20, 2021.
Sky Sports reporter, writer and football transfer market specialist Gianluca Di Marzio in Milan on December 20, 2021. MIGUEL MEDINA AFP / Archives

« Actor myself in the transfer window? Some see me like this but not me. I do not think that journalists specializing in the transfer window have such an important influence on the discussions, even if of course, the fact that information comes out earlier or later can sometimes change the outcome of a transaction. « 

« Last summer I announced that Genoa were close to concluding with French striker Thomas Henry and I know that this prompted Venice to raise with a better offer to finally take the player … But Genoa would have had to conclude before I found out! « , he reports.

In his « almanac », a book in which he goes behind the scenes of some recent transfers, Gianluca Di Marzio congratulates Roma on the other hand for having kept a perfect secret around the arrival of José Mourinho.

« General manager Tiago Pinto told me that he himself did not broadcast very widely inside the club the possible arrival of Mourinho, precisely to prevent the information from leaking. Sometimes clubs not only have to do secrecy to journalists, but also to their employees, « Di Marzio laughs.

A book with Ibrahimovic

The sources are not lacking, he says: “The alerts come from everywhere, including people that I do not know, who dream of seeing the news on television. Today, this is no longer just the agent, the sporting director or the player … Many have the information because they are friends of the driver, friends of the one who booked the private flight …. « 

Sky Sports journalist, writer and football transfer market specialist Gianluca Di Marzio in Milan on December 20, 2021
Sky Sports journalist, writer and football transfer market specialist Gianluca Di Marzio in Milan on December 20, 2021 MIGUEL MEDINA AFP / Archives

“Then sometimes there are things wrong, and the important and difficult job is to verify,” he adds.

For the winter transfer window which opens on January 3 in Italy, he does not expect a very active market in a financial context still made difficult by the coronavirus pandemic.

« Difficult », for example, to see Dusan Vlahovic leave, highly coveted but still under contract until 2023 with Fiorentina.

« More likely » however that Juventus separates from Swede Dejan Kulusevski to « finance the arrival of a striker », adds the one who has just added a string to his bow by releasing a first book – the continuation of the autobiography of Zlatan Ibrahimovic – as collection director for publisher Cairo.

« This new role, it made me feel like a sports director! You think of someone, like Ibrahimovic, and you try to attract him and to negotiate the conditions », he describes about this expected book on January 26 in France.

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