Grégory Lorenzi, the Corsican spotter of good moves for Brest
To ensure Brest’s financial survival and maintenance in Ligue 1, but also an attractive game, the sporting director of the Breton club has successfully dipped into the pools of the biggest L1 clubs, or even Inter Milan, and bet on singular profiles.
Son of a manager of the Sporting Club de Bastia, he kept a touch of accent but was not afraid to go into exile very quickly, at the Nantes training center at 14 then in Belgium at 19 to start his career as a professional defender.
After three seasons at Bastia, he signed for Brest in 2008 but only played there intermittently, between loans and escapades abroad, until President Denis Le Saint offered him the post of sports director in 2016.
At 32, the Corsican is changing hats and anchoring himself in the wind and drizzle of the tip of Brittany.
He who was involved in the UNFP, the players’ union, finds himself negotiating the contracts of former teammates, he will seek Jean-Marc Furlan to succeed his last coach, Alex Dupont, and bring Brest back to Ligue 1 three years later.
More than a sports director, Lorenzi became Le Saint’s right-hand man, his spokesperson, his man of confidence: very discreet in the media, the president gave him carte blanche on the sporting level, but with a very tight budget.
Surrounded by a small team, in which he has integrated his brother Yannick, Lorenzi works very upstream so that the Brest model works.
First, buy well and sell well. In 2018, he brought in Monegasque defensive midfielder Ibrahima Diallo, first on loan and then on transfer. In 2019, it is the turn of the side Romain Perraud, neglected in Nice. In 2020, he unearths Romain Faivre, who was moping in the reserve of Monaco.
The three men weighed on the ground to ensure maintenance in L1 before bailing out the coffers of the club hard hit by the health crisis and the Mediapro fiasco: Diallo and Perraud were sold for 15 and 12 million euros to Southampton. And Lyon paid 15 million euros (excluding bonuses) in January for Faivre.
« Greg’s speech… »
But Lorenzi’s specialty is the crossroads: in 2020, Mainz (1st German div.) lends him the side Ronaël Pierre-Gabriel for two seasons; last year, he convinced Inter Milan to entrust him with midfielder Lucien Agoumé for a season, then in January the Uruguayan hopeful Martin Satriano, who planted three goals upon his arrival in February.
In January, he also bets on Youcef Belaïli, an Algerian star with a chaotic career. After a start complicated by the sudden change in climate, the winger knows how to be decisive at the end of the season, while draining, on social networks as in the stadiums, a crowd of supporters that Brest had never known. Result: the experience will continue next season.
Discreet, Grégory Lorenzi dwells little on his trade secrets. But he is a man of his word and the players know it. This is often what convinces them to bet in turn on this Tom Thumb from the end of the world. Since 2016, when the rookies are presented, they often repeat that « Greg’s speech made the difference ».
And this success does not go unnoticed. Thus, Lyon inquired last winter, but Lorenzi cut it short in February: « It’s nice because, when clubs think of you, it may mean that you are doing a good job. But I am fully focused on the objectives of Stade Brestois. We have created a story and it is not over. « .