Mircea Lucescu: We’re ready to let Adriano, Costa and Fernando go
After the first match at the training camp in Austria, Shakhtar’s head coach has talked to Romanian journalists. We bring you the full version of this interview.
- It was not even a friendly; it was just a training game with Neftchi. We have only recently come to the training camp. Every day we hold two sessions. In the team, there are a lot of young players, whom we have taken to the training camp, because all the others were away on international duty and are now resting. They will join us on 29 June. Plus there is a group of players who have not yet returned: Adriano, Taison and Fernando. That is why we did not have a friendly match; we had a training one. I am happy with the way our young footballers have played - I wanted to see how they would look versus quite good opponents - Neftchi. I want to watch a few more young performers, who have played in the final of the UEFA Youth League against Chelsea. But now many of them are involved in the finals of the U-19 championship, which is taking place in Greece. We are waiting for the arrival of players, who have been away on international duty, and several other Brazilians, who have not yet returned. Subsequent matches will determine who will be part of the league squad. We are ready to sell players, who have long defended the colours of our club: in the first place, Douglas Costa, Adriano and Fernando. As for these players, we are now in the negotiation process. Unfortunately, conditions have changed in Ukraine, there are a lot of flights, we are always on the move.
- Are you planning want to refresh Shakhtar?
- We are thinking about the team becoming more Ukrainian and more youthful. Although, I am confident that this league campaign will be difficult. Everything is organised for one club to have the best chance. Of course, I am speaking of Dynamo Kyiv, who are playing 80 per cent of their matches at home, with the support of their fans. In such conditions, it is very difficult to compete. But we will do our best to keep the name of Shakhtar in Europe at the highest level, which we have reached in recent years.
- What are Shakhtar’s goals and targets in the European competitions?
- First of all, we have to go through two qualifying rounds and reach the group stage of the Champions League. This is a number one task. Naturally, we will fight in the league and the Ukrainian Cup. Again, our chances and those of our opponents are unequal. We are in a difficult situation. Unfortunately, even our president cannot always be together with the team, be present in the stadium, as it always has been the case. But we are communicating with him. The president is interested in players’ form and physical condition, how they conduct training, how they progress.
- Has Guardiola thanked you for the transfer?
- The last time I talked to him was when we played in the Champions League. Frankly, I expected Bayern to enter into negotiations regarding Douglas. Although it is too early to talk about it as a transfer, which has already taken place. It will be considered as such only when Costa signs the contract. Now he is at the Copa America.
- How do you cope with such difficult conditions?
- Thanks to my great love for football and Shakhtar. I am performing the duties that I should be. Throughout a 10-year period, we have won 20 titles. Now most important thing for me is to return to Donbas Arena and play there! Only then we can think about the future.
- Are you thinking about ending your career? Can you return to the Romania national team?
- Return? No. Mr. Yordanesku is doing a good job.
- It is it true that Luiz Adriano moves to Al-Ahly?
- I have been told that this club has an agreement with Luiz. But as far as I know, Adriano has not approved this proposal. There is still time until August 31, when the transfer window closes. Let's see.