SEASON 10: CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FOOTBALL
Season 9 was the most successful campaign in the club's history. Palermo will now compete in the UEFA Champions League this season. It is going to be a mighty challenge, but a challenge that we cannot wait to take on. This season will see additional games, therefore we must look to add depth to the squad, and bring in some experienced players who have played Champions League football before. This is going to be our busiest transfer window yet, and with the finances increasing we will have money to spend. There are rumors that the effects of the riots all over the country still linger, and could affect the Serie A schedule once more. Last season I thought if this madness continues I would leave, but with the prospect of playing against the best teams in Europe, I cannot leave Palermo now. This is the most exciting season in the club's history, and what a way to cap off a decade with the club! Due to the riot's however, we are unable to leave Palermo during pre-season, therefore we will not be playing any pre-season games.
The target for us now is to bring in a mix of experience, quality and youth and we started the new transfer window off with a bang. Romelu Lukaku
was the first addition joining the club from Juventus for free as his contract expired. With years of Champions League experience, and a keen eye for goal, he will be an important squad player for us this season. The board have also challenged us to sign 'high-profile' players, and to bring in a player like Lukaku, we have surely met this objective. We signed a new left winger from PSG, Steven Susa
. The 24 year old Serbian also joined on a free-transfer, and could see himself getting straight into the starting team, with rumors still lingering about Hodges wanting to leave the club. Susa has fantastic long shots and acceleration and could cause a lot of problems for Serie A defenders. Patrick Roberts
joined the club on a free-transfer as his contract expired at Manchester United. The English midfielder will provide cover for Pol Joensen and can play on either wing. Donyell Malen
joined on a free from Everton, although the Dutch striker will not feature for Palermo this season, you will find out why soon. We are not done yet! 7 players still to announce in a very busy transfer window. The next player in was Argentine ball-winning midfielder, Santiago Ascacibar
. He will be our starting DM this season, with incredible mental and physical attributes along with 17 tackling, he will be an important anchor in our midfield this season. He was another free-transfer as Stuttgart released him. Eric Dier
also signed on a free-transfer to provide back up to Ascacibar. The Englishman is 34 now but can still do a job in midfield and continues to add to the experience category of player we are looking for. Portuguese International, Burno Fernandes
joined the club, again on a free transfer. Unfortunately he is injured and cannot play for the first 5 months, although his quality on the ball and from set-pieces will be a great asset to have in our squad. Our first transfer who we actually signed from another club was the French right back Didier
from Manchester City for £2.8 million. He will provide competition for our wonderkid Marino this season and could potential earn a starting place in the squad. We signed another wonderkid, Filip Maric
joined the club from Red Star for £7.25 million. The 18 year old already looks like a quality talent, and will be trained to play as an advanced play-maker in CM rather than his natural position of CAM. Maric is another Serbian to join the club, he adds to our group of Susa and Djordjevic, a little taste of Serbian strength in Sicili. When I saw this next player transfer listed, I couldn't resist. Mo Salah
joined the club from Real Madrid for £1.9 million. At 36 years old he still has incredible technical attributes and could feature for us this season in any one of our three attacking positions. The last addition to the squad was our biggest signing. We still really wanted a world-class striker, and Urso was our number 1 target from Sassuolo as we have been scouting him for the past two seasons. We couldn't get a deal with him over the line as he was demanding over £200k a week. So there was another man we had our eye on, not quite as ready made as Urso but still a world-class striker. We decided to sign a Scottish striker from Celtic for £28 million. Keith Duncan
will be our new star this season, and lead the line for us for many years. He has incredible physical attributes and will continue to improve as he is only 20 years old!
A very very busy window, and a lot on new players arriving at the club. But some world-class additions can hopefully gel and perform well for us this season!
Romelu Lukaku will wear pink again!
Steven Susa signs on a free-transfer from PSG
Patrick Roberts is released from Manchester United and joins Palermo
Dutchman Malen signs for free... but won't be here for long
Ball Winning Midfielder Ascicabar signs for Palermo
Ex-Tottenham star Eric Dier signs
Creative midfielder Bruno Fernandes joins Palermo
Didier joins from Manchester City for £2.8 million
Maric signs for Palermo for £7.25 million from Red Star
Mo Salah joins Palermo! The Egyptian king cost the club £1.9 million
Deadline Day Transfer: Keith Duncan signs for £28 million
We signed a lot of players which meant there had to be player leaving too. Malen
was the first player to leave, and was only at the club for a week. When I saw his value, I transfer listed him to see what offers we would get and Frankfurt bid £36 million! So off we went, and that gave us more funds to bring in more players to balance the squad. With Lukaku, Duncan, Sgro and Brobbey we still have enough options up front so I was fine to let him leave. Nuno Santos
left to Sampdoria for £2.6 million. He was unhappy and wanted to leave as he never really got the game time he was promised when he joined the club. But we are on the big stage now and Nuno Santos wasn't quite the quality of player we wanted in our squad this season. Anthony Hodges
did end up leaving. I really would have like to keep him but he was desperate to leave. We sold him to RB Leipzig for £44 million with a 45% of the next sale. This means if we want we could potentially buy him back in the future, or if he seals a bigger move after performing well in Germany we could earn even more money. The departure of Hodges means Susa will start the season as our main LW, with Schmidt and Salah providing back up. The last player we sold was Diego Esedin
to Lazio for £20 million. We signed him on a free and he was going to be a squad player this season. I decided to cash in so we can give more game-time to our Serbian wonderkid Maric.
Malen leave's for Germany
Nuno Santos leaves Palermo to join Sampdoria
Another Hodges joins RB Leipzig
Diego Esedin signs for Serie A rivals Lazio
Overall we spent a total of £40 million on 10 new players. But we sold £103 million worth of players, which means we still have money to spend. Right now I am happy with the balance of the squad as we have enough cover in every position. In the next update I am going to post images of every player in the squad so you can have a closer look at the team that will compete in the Champions League this season.
Favre resigns. The Inter Milan manager has retired from football after winning the Serie A and Supercoppa Italia Final.
My success with Palermo hasn't gone unnoticed across the country. The Italian FA have offered me the Italy job! I was tempted to take it, but this season is so important for the club and I want to focus all my attention on continuing success with Palermo. I feel that if I took an international job I would have too much to think about and juggle so I reluctantly rejected the offer.
Champions League Group Stage
We have been thrown right in the deep end in the Champions League! We have the toughest group in the competition consisting of Bayern Munich, Manchester United and AS Monaco! This is what we have prepared for though and are looking forward to the challenge! We wanted to be in the Champions League to play against the best teams in the world and our dream has now come true.
With the damage still not repaired from last season's dramas. The Serie A season is now scheduled to start in December. Therefore our first game of the season will be at home against Bayern Munich! We are unable to shcedule any friendly games, as other competitions go ahead as usual, so therefore we will be using a strict high intensity training routine to prepare and keep fit during the next few months. As I have mentioned the Mafia are still involved and Italian football is in a very strange place that could see scheduling problems for many years to come. But I cannot leave Palermo now! We will continue the journey and play through this challenge and hope to continue bringing success to the people of Sicilli.
As always, thanks for reading!