Updates: Stop the presses. Juan is official! Holy crap this came out of nowhere. The official number is €6.3m, great deal considering his quality and the original numbers had it between €8-9m.
Also, it looks like Roma bought all of Vucinic, just in two €3.75m installments. I'm very very happy about this. Mirko can be a 20 goal scorer in Serie A provided he gets situated in the Spalletti system. He can have similar production to Suazo, though not as much of a game-changing dominant force.
Speculation: Anyone else think a 3-2-3-2 might be in play somewhat? A defense of Juan-Mexes-Chivu should be enough to snuff out most attacks provided they get lateral help, if Chivu stays that is. Maybe Mirko is being primed for this....
The Pandemonium Ceases & Then Commences All Over Again
Le buste is over and there have been transactions galore in the past 24 hours. A few weeks ago, il Romanista reported there would be a relative calm on the transfer front until June 20th, after which the shit would hit the fan and the real transfer season would start. Well, it's here so let's see what Roma is throwing out this summer. Juan should be unveiled at any moment now, after that Roma will likely move on to the Christian Chivu situation and the world-class wingers they've been coveting. I, for one, am glad the loose ends have been tied up and Roma can get on their transfer shoes and get royally fucked kick some ass.
Everybody knows the David Pizarro is now 100% Roma's property, for how long remains to be seen. When he was at Udinese he started negotiating a transfer elsewhere almost as soon as he arrived, even though Luciano Spalletti was beginning his lengthy man crush. He can't feel comfortable with Aquilaninho, Ahmed Barusso and Ricardo Faty breathing down his neck. The moment he stepped foot at the San Siro he declared he wanted to retire an Internazionale player and he never wanted to wear another shirt. I'm not saying this because I don't like him, he seems like any other athlete, but this is how he operates. He's not exactly the most loyal person, which includes "retiring" from the Chilean nationial squad at the ripe old age of 25. And let's get one thing clear, I would love - LOVE - David Pizarro if a) he played alongside a true DM, which Daniele De Rossi is not, b) he could play anything even resembling defense, c) Aquilaninho wasn't so damn talented and ready for a starting place, and d) Roma's goals relied more on distribution from a holding midfielder rather than wing play - which they currently do. I am genuinely terrified a team like Fiorentina will come a long and offer Aquilaninho a starting spot and Roma will lose him because of Spalletti's insistence upon Pizarro and Perrotta in their current places.
For the rest of the dealings yesterday, there were a few transactions:
Damiano Ferronetti: Sold to Parma for €350,000.
Giuseppe Scurto: Sold to Chievo for €100,000.
Daniele Corvia: Sold to Siena for €500,000.
Alessandro Tulli: Co-ownership with Lecce renewed for 1 year.
Gianluca Comotto: Le buste won by Torino, speculation is circa €1.5m.
Marco Cassetti: Le buste won by Roma, speculation is circa €1m. What the hell was the hang-up over? He cost €1.5m last summer, Roma couldn't put up a €1m bid to avoid envelopes? Unless Spalletti really wanted Comotto over Cassetti. Who knows. This is AS Roma we're talking about here.
As per annual ritual, Roma are purging a few of the kids who no longer fit the plan and will become squad players or starters at a lesser club. The three paid for Cassetti's half to Lecce, and to me that's a fantastic deal, even though I had big hopes for Ferronetti at one point (still do, but major back injuries are very very tough in the long run). Comotto is a nice lump of cash coming back, though rumors persist Spalletti preferred he over Marco. I like Marco a lot as a backup, but it's understandable because he isn't a great defender.
I've lost nearly all hopes of working out a deal for The Artist Formerly Known As The Divine Dimple aka Fab Quags aka Fabio Quagliarella (everybody happy now?), now that he is supposedly 100% Udinese property. They've made it clear that a) they're dickheads, b) they will sell only to the highest bidder regardless of Fag Quag's wishes, and c) they're dickheads. Sampdoria really dropped the ball for Roma here and likely cost the Giallorossi a real shot at landing Fab Quag's, but after being reminded of Mauro Esposito's season from the wing three years ago (16 goals at 24 years) and subsequent plummet, I'm moving on - even though Fab is a talent. I'm beginning to think Roma actually has plans to bring in Esposito and one of Franco Semioli or Julien Faubert.
* - I'm also trying not to purport any false myths today but a little birdie told me that Udinese and Juventus agreed to a deal last night under the assumption that Udinese beat out Sampdoria with a €7m bid to €6.3m. I have to say I fully expected one of Juve or ManU to win the Fab Quags auction if Udinese won, and Roma to have the best shot if Samp won. Damn you, Sampdoria.
I'd much prefer Faubert to Semioli or Esposito, and at €8m he has to be considered on par with Fab Quag's in terms of value, but my number one remains Rosinaldo - though I've lost nearly all hope of securing him. Unfortunately (or fortunately?), I don't get to see many Ligue 1 games so I don't have extensive knowledge of Faubert; but what I have seen is awesome (2/5 - video, 4/5 Faubert; though I do like the song even if it is French rap). He is fast and just seems to blow by everybody to the ball to put in stellar crosses and a pretty hard shot. If there was anyone who was perfect to fly up the touch line at the Olimpico it is Faubert. Both Julien and his agent have mentioned Premiership interest, but heavily implied that it's a back-up plan if no accord can be reached between Roma and Bordeaux. They have no motivation for lying because they've hinted negotiations regarding a contract are fine, it's Roma's less than acceptable offer to the Frenchies holding up a transaction. Hopefully he is still available when Roma figures out what the hell they are going to do, because they are about to lose one hell of a player. If the Italian mailing system wasn't so damn slow I would mail Semioli a fruitbasket signed "Hugs and Kisses and Millions of Euros, From The Della Valle Family." Actually, considering this is Semioli, it might get there in time for him to make up his mind - circa 2079.
As far as Ederson goes, I doubt the story was fabricated, but I'm positive the negotiations or flirtations weren't very far along at all. I think the pricetag for such a young player would have scared them off, though they did just pay the same amount for Pizarro, so who knows. Something tells me Roma will be getting their "main" transfer (though I would be happy with Juan and signing Chivu to an extension as a main transfer) from either France or a lesser league this summer. Maybe someone random like Raphael from Zurich? If Swiss 2nd Divison players are good enough for Roma, imagine what a first division player might provide - Holy Moses. Or someone else from another place where they can get relatively good value on their purchase, in other words, "we're cheap." By the way, if Mathieu Bodmer costs €6.25m then Faubert is worth about €5m tops. Let's hope they use that as a negotiation tactic. Not to say that the French et al are pushovers, but they won't bend you over like Inter did with Pizarro, unless Jean-Michel Aulas is involved. Which brings up a point, somebody please tell me little David is twice as good as Bodmer. Any takers?
The Reggina duo of Giandomenico Mesto & Francesco Modesto are still in play. Though the English media is reporting Mesto has chosen Liverpool over Roma because anywhere with poor weather and a tea time is obviously like totally the first choice of any Italian because the EPL is like the most awesomest league ever, duuuuhhhhhhhhh. Yes, that's a direct quote. Even though both Mesto and the president of Reggina have stated directly that Gidom prefers a move to Rome. Oops. Anyway, I wouldn't be surprised to see a swap deal with one of the two involving Matteo Brighi. My preference would be Mesto, which means you can pre-order a Modesto jersey at your earliest convenience.
I'm sure Roma will be linked to any and every player who has even vacationed in the boot, but I think the likely names have already surfaced. I expect Ciprian Marica to resurface at some point, though I think Roma are scared of the pricetag Shakhtar Donetsk have slapped on him. I'm wondering also if he was the backup plan to Mirko Vucinic. Mirko's biggest let-down is that he isn;t really an ideal winger, which is where Spalletti plays him often. Ciprian seems to have the requisite skill for the wings but I'm not sure he's pacy enough for Luciano on the outside. Maybe he is and I'm just too used to see Mancini flying up the touchline. Either way, provided the price is fair, I'd love to see Marica come in because he seems to have that highly coveted duo of talent and versatility, even if the latter is somewhat limited.
As an aside, I didn't mention much about the half-purchase of Mirko from Lecce, but I was completely thrilled. He was coming off an injury so he didn't impress greatly, but he showed flashes of that immense talent he displayed routinely at Lecce. Even though Totti is the be all & end all for Spalletti up top, I think he'll get a lot more playing time in the system this season. Let's hope so, the stats don't lie and he is still very young. That €3.75m could be one of the best investments of the summer. Also, we need to find a nickname for Mirko. I like Vooch but that's pretty simple and it really only works when it's audible. Suggestions?
Anyway, it's nice to have a little clearer picture of where Roma stands, but I think Chivugate will dominate the majority of the headlines for at least a week or two. Until that situation is resolved Roma can't exactly make plans, though if Fab Quags is truly sent elsewhere, that will free up a lot of funds they had started socking away for him. Even so, those two names will likely dictate where Roma stands in the transfer market and where they can start to aim in terms of reinforcements. The best news is that Roma have started crossing the "necessary" things off of their To-Do list and are focusing on improving the team. I'm still predicting one fairly "big-name" winger and I don't mean Esposito. I hope.
Festivus For The Rest Of Us:
I) Torino have become convinced that Daniele Galloppa is the future replacement for Vice-King of Awesome Man-Baldness Eugenio Corini. That's nice and all, Galloppa has some talent, but the article written about him is phenomenal. They promote him less as a midfielder and more as the second coming of Jesus Christ himself. Well then. Let's just send Torino 'The Galloppa' and allow destiny to lay her gentle hand on his head.
(Oh, and send us Rosinaldo, please)
II) I've taken to floating around various message boards lately (very very minimally) just to see other people's take on the status of deals, rumors or the team. One of the funniest is going to other team's message boards because they typically think they can go out and buy anyone they want. For any amount. Example A from a Liverpool forum:
"I would like to say that if Liverpool officials are in Madrid . . . why are they not in Rome to close the Bellamy for Mancini deal??????"
Love EPL fans. Love em. I love Liverpool, the club not the fans, but how fucking dumb to you have to be to think Roma would do a deal like that? I'm sure I could go down to the local zoo and get a unanimous vote against it. I wouldn't send Adrian Pit (Pronounced 'Piz') to Liverpool for Bellamy (not because of talent, because Totti would likely wind up dead or in jail for life after a round of 18). I'm not going to drag every Brit into this, but I'd like to start a petition to prevent some (read: most) EPL fans from procreating and soiling the gene pool.
* - Btw, Roma rejected a €20m offer from Liverpool for Mancini. Rafa, you're wasting your time here bro. Mancini is going nowhere. I'm not saying this as a fan, I'm saying this because he won't pry himself from Rome. I'm not even going to comment on it.
III) Chivu's agent has stated that there is only an agreement with Inter and no contract negotiations have taken place with anyone in Spain and he called out to Barcelona to contact him. After Moratti's recent statements saying Chivu isn't necessary because Maxwell can fill his role adequately and he won't cost a dime, the Chivu camp must have hit the panic button. Me thinks Chivu's agent is starting to realize his client isn't going to get what he wants and he's calling out to Barca to save his ass. I'm actually kind of surprised Rosella has held out this long, apparently she grew the requisite set of balls needed to deal with pro athletes. Kudos for now.
Christian has completely lost face here. If, and that's a huge if, he really does return to Rome, he's going to have a long long climb to win back the adoration of the fans. After all, he's tried to secure a move to one of Roma's biggest rivals for the sole benefit of a larger paycheck. I know I will never forget that. With players like Totti, De Rossi, Mexes, Mancini and Aquilani, who have all committed themselves to the club and city above a paycheck, Christian doesn't exactly fit in. It would be best in everyone's interest if Barcelona came in and rescued him with a big money offer. That being said, I hope everything is a ploy in contract negotiations with Roma, but I'm becoming less and less convinced by the day.
IV) Mauro Esposito is the new Franco Semioli. Rumors are saying he could be in a Giallorossi kit any day now, but I doubt it. This one will like take an act of divine intervention to play out any time soon.
V) Edgar Alvarez is eliciting interest from the Serie A loony bin, Palermo. Whoopdy-fricken-do.
VI) I'm sure most people have heard about the new Calciopoli involving Inter. There are quite a few options as punishment, but the one most people are focusing on is the removal of the 05-06 scudetto, which would then be handed to Roma. I'm not joking when I say I don't want it. That thing is legitimately cursed. I'd rather win one on the field of play without relying on the punishment of other team's (yes, that's a completely underhanded dig at Inter).
But I would love to see Inter demoted. Love it.
* - I'm not sure I'll be able to get of the hair contest tomorrow, I have to family business to take care of, but it will definitely be up Monday if not.