Update: Within the next few hours an accord will be reached that will send Ludovic Giuly to Roma for around €3m. It had begun to sound like Spalletti and Totti really wanted him, I suspect this is their work. I will now be waving the Giallrossi flag for the little Frenchman I hate oh so dearly. Christ.
One of the best parts about all of this is that we can finally start talking about the superstar players on the squad who had no chance of moving anywhere this summer, after spending two months talking about Mauro Esposito, Matteo Brighi and Adrian Pit (Pronounced 'Piz'). They're great and all, but they don't make up the core of the team. And finally we actually get to see a ball being knocked around. It's a good day.
The boys returned yesterday and will commence the actual training today. The big news was the return of Chivu, and how everybody feels about it. We know how Luciano Spalletti feels about it, but I'm wondering how Totti, Daniele De Rossi and Philippe Mexes feel. I'm sure they all are glad to have a player of his caliber there, but I can't believe anyone actually wants him to be there. The tifosi sure made their feelings known. Outside of him the rest of the news was somewhat boring, though Spalletti did have an interesting interview which I just skimmed, because it's looooooong. I'm going to need to sit down with it for a few minutes to even try to read into it. But the good news is I did see he's considering a few different lineups, much of which will have to do with Mirko Vucinic. Atta boy, Spalletti. He's too good to primarily be a sub.
In case you couldn't tell by the picture to the left, Roma finally picked up their sponsor in Kappa. Best solution for all parties involved. It should be interesting to see what Kappa decides to put out for next years shirts, because it will probably be vastly different from the past couple years of Diadora. If the recent Kappa outfits for other squads are any type of template (see: Werder Bremen), they should be real different. The ladies should be very excited about this, Kappa is notorious for very very tight clothing. So you can enjoy Totti and Mexes in all their splendor. Which we'll all get to see for the next three years.
So, uh, what happened to that whole public announcement? Smooth Chivu. Real smooth.
* - We're reverting back to Chivu because HWSNBN was just a much bigger pain in the ass to type than Chivu and I'll be damned if I let him beat me.
I) It looks as though Palermo want to wait and make a decision on Andrea Barzagli before they sell Leandro Rinaudo. If they do sell Barzagli they want Rinaudo to slot into his spot. Makes sense.
Wait. Did I just say something involving Maurizio Zamparini made sense? Holy Moses. Frozen pigs are flying over hell as we speak. Along with Chivu.
II) As we know, Mancini's agent will be meeting with Daniele Prade today to discuss an extension. His demands are very reasonable (unlike a certain Romanian defender), but they would likely break the cap. Reportedly he's asking for €3m per year, which would obviously break the €2.5m salary cap (trust me, math major).
This is where it gets tricky. Obviously that's a very fair value for someone of Mancini's caliber, especially considering that world-class wingers don't grow on trees. But would he accept a Philippe Mexes contract? Meaning a base salary of €2.5m with performance bonuses which could escalate well past that figure (roughly €3.6m for Mexes), which is supposedly what Roma are preparing to offer. Looking at this from an unbiased viewpoint, I would take that. He'd have the potential to easily reach and surpass his demands and as a player of Mancini's caliber, it's likely that he could reach those bonuses with little difficulty (assuming they're as easy as reported). However, Mancini could be a different story. I tend to think this won't be a blown-out affair, Roma has to have learned their lesson at this point (we pray). Whether or not they are willing to break the cap if need be will be very interesting though. Either way, it's going to happen soon.
III) There were a few just absolutely random names thrown out in yesterday's il Romanista for the left wing position. All of which are very cheap, are Argentinian and none of whom I've even heard of, so I'm not even going to say a damn word about any of them.
How the hell is an Argentinian going to fit into that locker room? That's oil and water. It'd be like a teenage girl bringing Scott Baio as their prom date. You know how it's going to end up, but you can't help yourself. There will be a lot of spiked punch, some jock's going to throw out an inappropriate joke about how Baio is 45 and single, then that guy's cheerleader girlfriend will end up pregnant with a little Chachi. At which point Scott will go, "Dude, Charles is always in charge."
And no, my super-secret player is not on that list.
IV) Kappa, baby! Oh glory days oh glory days.....
In honor of the return of Kappa, here's a link to the jerseys of the last few decades. I was a big fan of the 03/04 Diadora kit, but for nostalgic reasons, I hope Kappa unleashes the 00/01 kit for next year. Good juju.
V) Anybody else not buying the report that Roma turned down Javier Saviola? Unless his wage demands were well past the salary cap. He would have been a great fit to the system and of course, he was on a free. I'm skeptical.
VI) I really don't understand the Mirko Vucinic for Valeri Bojinov swap rumors. Both play the same position, even though Bojinov might be better adaptable to the wings. Still, he's done nothing but alienate himself from Fiorentina. What's the point? I don't see this happening. As much as I like his talent, I don't want his attitude. And I don't think Spalletti wants to give up on Vuci yet.
VII) Reportedly Matteo Brighi is still on Napoli's wishlist, and Roma may very well consider selling him due to the lack of funds from any Chivu sale. Also, his pricetag is being pegged at €5m, which would be enough to buy up a guy like Francesco Modesto (swap? Reggina wants Matteo - makes sense) or even Roque Santa Cruz, who everyone seems to want as a versatile option for the front line and wings. I'd still like to see Brighi given a shot, but if a Santa Cruz move hinges on his sale, then I'd pack his bags for him.
VIII) Ludovic Giuly. Ugh.
IX) Doni & Juan picked up Copa America winners status with a 3-0 win over Internazionale FC yesterday. I didn't see the game but everyone says Juan was absolutely phenomenal and Doni was on top of his game. This is hugely positive, and next year's defense could be as good if not better than last season, regardless of Chivu. Congrats to the fellas.
X) Three possibilities for sponsor: Ferrarelle (water), Emirates (airlines) & Carlo Pignatelli (fancy schmancy clothing). I vote for whichever one offers up the most cash, as long as the logo isn't as hideous as Pepsi's from the trial run. Dubai money is especially fine with me.
* - GHD Round 2 coming up.......now.