(Pic generously donated by The Marco)
This is like Christmas season. You know how you start to see one or two Christmas displays or hear a random Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer thrown into the radio in October and early November, and then one to two weeks before Thanksgiving hits someone turns a 200 foot tall fan on hurricane speed and starts shoveling mounds of manure directly into the blades? So now you can't go anywhere without seeing Santa or parking lots turned into forests or hearing Jingle Bells when all you want is some goddamn turkey and stuffing? That's what has happened to the rumor mill. First an Adriano here and a Stevan Jovetić there. Then came the massive explosion of apocalyptic proportions, linking Roma to so many players that Bill Gates and the Sultan of Saudi Arabia couldn't pool up enough money to foot the bill.
So, it's up to the duo on your left to get it done while we sit here and either salivate or push aside the rumors. Small amount of faith. Knowing Rosella, who "judges time by a sundial in the basement", nothing will happen unless it's an outgoing loan. Joyous.
The Smorgasbord v2.0
A nice big wrapup on some of the names we've been hearing throughout the fall.
Entro la fine della settimana, Max Tonetto firmerà il nuovo contratto con la Roma fino a giugno 2010.
Altro rinvio per il rinnovo di Mancini: dopo la trasferta di Kiev, l'agente del brasiliano sarà in Italia per discutere con Rosella Sensi.
In caso di divorzio, il sogno dei giallorossi è strappare Mutu alla Fiorentina. Altrimenti piace lo svizzero Tranquillo Barnetta del Leverkusen. Seguiti altri giocatori interessanti in Germania: l'attaccante Mario Gomez dello Stoccarda, il difensore brasiliano Lucio del Bayern Monaco ed il connazionale Gilberto, ex Inter, in scadenza di contratto con l'Hertha Berlino.
Per gennaio, possibili prestiti per Barusso (Genoa), Pit (Mantova, Modena o Avellino) e Antunes (Reggina, magari all'interno della trattativa per Modesto).
• Max is going to renew until June 2010, at which point he'll be wheelchaired directly from Trigoria to a retirement home. (I kid, he'll only be 36.)
• Gilmer Velox will be discussing an extension with Maverick & Charlie on the 28th.
• The dream acquisition in the event that Mancini leaves is Adrian Mutu who is a whiny bitch and I'd rather not see in the uniform. (Yeah, I'm still pissed about his elbow on Vuci.)
• If not, then they have their eyes set on the Bundesliga (for Gomez and Barnetta).
• Lucio is still being looked at in the (getting likelier by the day) event that Matteo Ferrari exits stage anywhere but Rome.
• New name: Gilberto of Hertha Berlin, whose contract is running out. At the very least a solid vice-Tonetto option, who's actually fairly versatile, but he's not exactly fresh out of diapers. (32 in April.)
• Potential loans: Barusso to Genoa, Pit to any Serie B club that will play him and Antunes to Reggina, possibly as part of a deal to bring some guy named Francesco Modesto back to Rome. (Never heard of him.) I love all 3, especially the last one as long as we can get this the @#$% over already. But it won't happen. (Jeremy Mathieu says what's up.)
Antonio Di Natoto
He loves Spalletti, Roma, Totti, yadda yadda yadda. Even if it does become possible, it won't happen soon, as his agent said (along with a big ole Italian "SHOW ME THE MONNNAAAAAAAAAAAAY!"), but it's still a firm no from me for reasons we'll get into at another time and date.
And Who Are You?
Gazzetta has it that Roma is interested in Sebastian Prödel, a 21 year old CB from Austria currently plying his trade for Strum Graz. I'll admit it, I've never heard of the kid before. So it's the generic gazzetta info we go with:
• A few decent teams are after him or have been after him (Werder, Milan, Parma, Sampdoria and CL superstuds Rosenborg).
• He's played for the Austrian U-20 team.
• Wants to play in the boot.
• Was injured recently.
Well, there's you answer on that last one. Born to play for Roma. New club motto: "We'll take your tired and sick."
And if they decide to take him aboard it would cost 2-2.25m, according to gazzetta, aka Europe's chief transfer valuators. Take it for what it's worth. Probably the last time we hear his name unless it's on the opposite squad list. (Start printing up those Prödel Kappa kits.)
Fresh In From The WTF Department
First off, the not-so-wtfish: Juventus would like Matteo Ferrari. Of course they would. They're about 2 more injuries from calling John Charles back from the dead to partner with a broomstick painted jailbird colors. You know what's not going to happen? Roma helping out a fellow scudetto contender (kinda) unless they get some direct assistance in return. (Helllooooooooooooooo Tiagoooooooooooooooo)
Then the news that Borussia Dortmund would like a shot at Matteo. Meh. They don't exactly have the deepest of pockets or have the sexiest allure at the moment, but if they offer up enough cash...hey, who cares. I take this same approach at bars.
Then comes this, which I'm still a little fuzzy on. It appears Werder Bremen would like to swap Tim Borowski for Ferrari, as both have their contracts running out in the summer. I'm no expert on Werder, but last time I checked they aren't exactly wanting for much in the central defense department. Naldo, Per Mertesacker and maybe even Petri Pasanen are pretty impenetrable for Matteo - even if they've allowed an alarming number of goal on a couple of occasions this year. This half sounds like a little bit of media misinformation.
The other half, Borowski, makes a little less sense, unless Roma is really getting ready to depart with David Pizarro. And even then he's 3rd on the CM/DM depth chart behind Daniele De Rossi and King Alberto (don't you dare suggest he'll slot in ahead of KA). Maybe potentially a vice-Perrotta, but Lulu Gulu and Matteo Brighi have fit in well at that position, before we even bring into question Borowski's qualities fulfilling the demands of this system.
As far as what this means for Matteo, I really am beginning to believe more and more we're watching his last days in the shirt. To keep it as simple as humanly possible: He doesn't appear to be playing to the level of his contract demands. Can't really fault the higherarchy for that.
Given the apparent logjam at rightback and the inevitable arrival of a vice-Tonetto Spalletti might just trust enough to carry the balls to practice, it's possible a new CB may be brought in with Christian Panucci being the backup "buffer" while the newbie gets acclimated (OMR did play increasingly well at CB and TGIP appears to trust him in that position). Maybe a Lucio or similar. Somebody whose tag would be covered by Matteo's sale and shows a little bit more consistency. Just a hunch. Could be wrong.
WTF Department v2.0
Arjen Robben could be in Roma's plans.
Yup, bout sums it up.