(That's Mancini's wax face. "Holy Christ that hur...wait, a little to the left, yeah, right there. Ooh.")
October's over, no signed extension, and whaddya know - transfer rumors. Didn't see this coming at all. First it was Lyon and Jean-Michel Aulas, who takes Mancini-hard-on-inducing Viagra on a daily basis, reportedly willing to meet Amantino's salary demands of €3.5m per, and chipping in a lovely €22m to Roma in the process.
Now here comes Massimo Moratti, continually trying to further Italianize his team and buy up another Italian Brazilian. Oops. Anyway, this is another one totally coming out of left field. Actually, that's a lie. Moratti has been producing that Mancini-hard-on-inducing Viagra since mid-2003 and just began pipelining it to Lyon after Amantino pulled calcio's triple deke on Anthony Revelliere last spring. And worry not, it'll only be a matter of time before Peja Mijatovic and Rafa Benitez join the group orgy. Well, maybe not Rafa, he's got enough wingers these days - and presumably no one's going to allow him into any orgies until he shaves that thing off his face. (Maybe Mutu, whose standards are quite low.*)
* - Pictures available upon request courtesy of Martha's harddrive.
And then there's the new that Gilmer Veloz is due in Rome to discuss a contract extension on November 28th. Which is...just checking...yup, in October. All 3 are possible. Only one has a decent chance of happening.
1. I seriously doubt Mancini is willing to give Lyon a discount on what other teams could and very well may pay him to go play in Ligue 1. Honestly, that's all there is to that. Regardless, €22m is about right.
2. After the Chivu debacle, does anybody really think Rosella wants to deal with Moratti again so soon? Is Moratti bold enough to pull a Chivu and promise Veloz a ridiculous contract to Mancini in return for his steadfast refusal to be transferred anywhere other than Argentina? Isn't Real Madrid a much more appealing prospect for a guy like Mancini?
(Here's what I'd do. Call up Moratti and say: "Give me the rest of Andreolli and Chivu or don't call me back." Then hang up. Not that I want Chivu back, it's just always nice to fuck with Moratti.)
3. Likelier. I'm not saying the extension will happen, but they'll certainly talk and try to work something out, even if they still plan to move him within the next 18 months. Amantino just doesn't seem like a lifer, and he's not going to improve all that much, if at all, so soon would be a better time to sell, especially if Alessio Cerci turns out to be the real deal.
Anyway, I sincerely doubt he is moved in January at any rate, even if Richarlyson, Daniel Carvalho or somebody similar is brought in as a ready-made replacement. The only way I see that happening is if they feel he is really disrupting the chemistry of the team, which doesn't appear to be the case. TGIP wouldn't have given him the band, most caps or not, had it been.
So, in light of all this, if you somehow managed to tie down Rosella and make the decisions, what would you do?
More Brazilians. Richarlyson would like to let everybody know that he has no plans to leave Sao Paolo anytime soon, and that if he does leave, it will be after 2008 and after he has his shot at the Club World Cup:
"I want to stay until the end of 2008 and try and win the Copa Libertadores and Club World Cup."
So he wants to stay at least until December '08. Alright. Expect the "If Roma wants me I would be honored to play in the red & yellow as soon as possible" comments within the next few weeks. Bunch o'bollocks.
Of course, then there was this, from his proud pappy:
“We have been contacted by an agent working for Roma under FIFA licence. We cannot refuse such an offer."
“If it was up to me, I would like my son to continue with Sao Paolo,” he added, “but we have to think as professionals.”
Bronzettiballs! Well, maybe, maybe not. If I remember correctly he took some sort of position working for Silvio & Uncle Fester up in Rossoneri land. But we can only hope. In Bronzettiballs We Trust.
(Flip-flop the timeline of those two quotes and you have your story.)
Check out this little number for the inevitable purchase of a vice-Max:
C'è una priorità assoluta nel mercato romanista, la fascia sinistra. A Tonetto verrà prolungato il contratto (uno o due anni, si sta trattando) e per questa stagione lui e Cassetti si divideranno i compiti di esterno difensivo mancino. Ma per il prossimo anno, probabilmente da giugno e non da gennaio, i dirigenti giallorossi hanno il compito di potenziare la squadra partendo da quel ruolo. Il nome più gettonato è quello di Urby Emanuelson, 21 anni dell'Ajax, che arriverebbe nella Capitale anche a piedi. Si tratterà di convincere gli olandesi, che in quanto a trattative non sono secondi a nessuno.
L'altro osservato speciale da tempo è il giovane brasiliano Marcelo, ma il Real non se ne priverà facilmente. «Non si muove da Madrid, neanche in prestito», ha detto ieri l'esperto di mercato spagnolo Ernesto Bronzetti. Per restare in Italia, a Spalletti piace molto il polivalente Juan Manuel Vargas, ventiquattrenne peruviano in forza al Catania. La società etnea lo valuta già 10 milioni, uno sproposito. Quotato anche Andrea Dossena, 26 anni esterno dell'Udinese entrato nel giro della Nazionale. Su di lui però, si sono mosse da tempo anche le due milanesi.
Sempre calda la pista francese con Taye Taiwo, nigeriano di 22 anni del Marsiglia, stantuffo inesauribile. Da non escludere che torni attuale la trattativa per Mathieu del Tolosa, a lungo inseguito nell'ultimo anno e mezzo. Se il club francese, ridimensionato dai modesti risultati, deciderà di vendere i suoi pezzi migliori, i giallorossi restano interlocutori privilegiati. Monitorata la Bundesliga, che Pradè segue attentamente a caccia di soluzioni. In uscita, Antunes può essere girato in prestito a Gennaio, magari all'estero come Faty se non ci fossero richieste in serie A.
Holy buhjesus. They're certainly not lack for options are they. Run it:
• Urby Emmanuelson is still on the radar. I can't imagine dealing with Ajax is going to be easy for Rosella considering her shenanigans in the Chivu deal. And while they're at it they might as well give Auxerre a call. Nevertheless, it appears he's on Spalletti's wishlist and we all know what that means...man crush, baby.
• Roma still wants Marcelo. Ernesto Bronzetti looked into his crystal balls and said "no soup for you!", or something to that effect.
• JMV, from August 1st:
Reaching back into the transfer rumor rejuvenation machine: Remember the bid tabled by Roma for Juan Manuel Vargas? Whatever happened to him? Because he’s extremely versatile and is also considered to be an exceptional winger. It does look like Francesco Modesto is on the way eventually, but I wonder where this guy went. He’d be huge considering the talent plus versatility combo. Plus, he’s had offers from Juventus and Liverpool as well, so he’s not exactly a schmuck (we’d assume, at least). Maybe he’s one of those guys that the media just hasn’t gotten much wind of lately (you know there are plenty of those). Just throwing a name out there, might see it come up again.
And voila, he's here. The report has him listed at a cool €10m, which is only a slim 2.5x the offer Roma made in the summer. For Rosella, that's a canyonesque gap. Ain't happenin'.
• Andrea Dossena, not to confused with Daniele Dessena (although that would be nice), has joined the barrage of LBs. AD has "TGIP guy" written all over him and appears to be a perfect fit in behind Max. And just like Max, many people did a double-take when he got tapped on the should by The Don Doni for the South Africa friendly. Of course, both Milans noticed. Bastards.
• Every so often, when we're getting a little lonely, we call up that "friend" who gives us nice company. Jeremy Mathieu is that friend. Jeremy Mathieu is going to be moving in very very soon. He'll be this year's Juan, the worst kept secret in Europe by February/March.
• You know how every so often there is a player who is just so freaking talented you don't care whether or not he's effective, fits into the system or the style of play, you just want to see him on your team? Taye Taiwo is that player for me. The guy makes Ahmed Barusso's Howitzer look like a water pistol.
My personal choice. (And bring Nasri along while you're at it.)
• Daniele Prade is monitoring the Bundesliga. I've got 4-1 odds he doesn't find anything and inserts himself into the LB position.
What, You Thought They Were Done?
Alright. This is more a case of me doing more Azzurri than Roma over the last week than a neverending smorgasbord of rumors from every corner of the globe. In the event that Mancini is sold, Roma is also keeping their eyes on two German-based phenomenons, Mario Gomez of Stuttgart and Tranquillo Barnetta currently doing Swiss things for old boy Rudi Voller in Leverkusen.
Now, Gomez is great and fantastic and all, but he's a) really expensive, b) on a lot of wishlists, and c) a striker. Three strikes and you're out.
The other, however, is an entirely different scenario altogether. Not only is he plausible, he's a great fit to the system and the budget - you know, seeing as how Rudi is still running the BL show. Two-footed, very fast, a good, hard shot with a hell of a cross to boot. I'm no expert on Leverkusen, but from what I recall he tends to get in his fair shots on goal, yet another aspect which makes him dreamy in the eyes of Spalletti. Because if they can't go with clinical finishing, they'll switch up to the "law of averages" approach. Just like most guys at a frat party.
I love Barnetta, and think he'd be a great addition to the team, but a lot of things need to be worked out before Roma starts thinking about brining in any world-class wingers. Alright, one thing, and that's decide what's going to happen with Mancini.
And no, we won't know on or around November 28th. They just want to fuck with us and make us think we will.
* - I'm sure I've missed a few, but it's been a busy week and it's only November for crying out loud.