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Soccer-Juve accuse Inter of lacking respect over failed exchange

Reuters

Jan 22 (Reuters) - Juventus reacted angrily and accused Inter Milan of lacking respect on Wednesday after an agreement to swap players was called off by their bitter rivals 24 hours earlier.

Juventus had agreed to exchange striker Mirko Vucinic for Inter midfielder Fredy Guarin when the deal was halted by Erick Thohir, the Indonesian business tycoon who took over as president of the Milan club in November.

Vucinic had already cleared out his locker when he was given the news, Juventus general manager Giuseppe Marotta told a news conference.

"The Vucinic-Guarin deal was verbally agreed by both parties. (Juventus president) Andrea Agnelli received a text from Thohir at 10:48 (Tuesday) confirming the deal," he said.

"What is most striking, and underlines this negative situation, is the fact that when a player clears out his locker and takes his personal belongings, this obviously says that the transfer has been concluded. And that was something Vucinic had done."

He added: "The main reason we called this press conference was the lack of respect shown towards two serious, professional footballers.

"My being here is a necessary act to protect Juventus and the professionals who have been treated unfairly.

"It's the first time in over thirty years of dealing with players' transfers that I have been part of an unfortunate situation such as the one which has been created here."

The deal was stopped following a protest by Inter fans on Monday night.

Montenegro forward Vucinic joined Juventus from AS Roma for 15 million euros ($20.35 million) at the start of the 2011/12 season and helped the team win the Serie A title two seasons in a row.

Colombia midfielder Guarin has been at Inter since 2012 and has become a rock in their midfield. ($1 = 0.7372 euros) (Writing by Brian Homewood in Berne; Editing by Rex Gowar)

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