I don't know why, but the overlords at the Internet medias decided to have a spasm and spew random names into some sort of mercato Venn diagram; with Bundesliga-based players in one circle, Brazilians in the other, and the Holy Grail that is Bundeliga-based Brazilians in the middle. (If I had a solitary ounce of computer capabilities I would've made you a picture. But alas, I'm computer illiterate and the written word is all I'm capable of - and even that is only on a good day.)
So, I'm not sure where they got all these names besides the ever accurate "reports in Italy". Nor do I have any idea how valid or feasible the reports are. Well, I have an idea, and the word "bullshit" comes to mind. But we'll run with it anyway. Because there's nothing better going on.
And no, none of them have any quotes or anything legitimate to back them up. But legitimacy is overrated as far as I'm concerned.
Paris Hilton.: The sure thing, deal imminent.
Lindsay Lohan.: The 95%, final details in the works.
Pussycat Dolls.: Very likely, things are heading towards Paris.
Fergie.: Looks alright, but don't touch it.
Mariah Carey.: All types of insane. Doesn't even look good.
Jessica Simpson.: The 50/50.
Jamie Murray.: Just below the 50/50, might happen, but most likely will not.
Elisha Cuthbert.: A tough sell, but the right offer could seal the deal.
Ali Larter.: Very unlikely now, but come back a little bit down the line.
Keira Knightley.: Almost impossible. Almost.
Jessica Alba.: Pure fantacalcio.
Tranquillo Barnetta LW (Bayer Leverkusen): Not the first time we've heard the name, can almost guarantee it won't be the last either. And while there is one ginormous factor which makes it appear to be topically legitimate, in the same token it could be a reason to suspect it pure media fabrication (never!). That factor being oldboy Rudi Voller, of course. Head cheese of something up in Leverkusen.
Kid's legit. Don't know how else to say it. Has pace, a little bit of trickery and can shoot a pretty damn decent ball. Considering his ability to switch flanks, the fact that his parents are Italian, the Rudi Factor...you have to put this kid high up on the list.
Personally, I'd love to see this kid wearing red & yellow. He's a notch below ideal in terms of tactics (as big of a dickhead as he is, were we to create the prototypical wing for this system it's gotta be Mutu), but would be a hell of an asset, both off the bench and as a starter. Can inject some late game space for Mancini's weekly substitution or fill in as a full time starter. My greatest hesitation is: how bad does Roma want a player of his caliber right now? Because if they're looking for a stud who could present significant value, he's gotta be high up on the list. The Toss Up question which could determine everything. SSR: Jessica Simpson
Mario Gomez ST (Stuttgart): I swear, every time I look at him I can't believe he's 22. He looks like a fully-matured man approaching 30, especially his torso and very broad shoulders. And he's really not that tall. (190cm - tall? Yes. That tall? No.) But he is a beast of a player and prospect - ditto for his pricetag. The easiest way to sum him up is this: Despite missing serious time last season with torn ligaments and a broken hand (on the same freakin play - well, once he hurt his knee he punched the medic box...oops), he was voted the German Player of the Year for 2007 - which encompasses both the Bundesliga and German players abroad. That's ricockulous. List of the recent winners:
2007 Mario Gomez VfB Stuttgart
2006 Miroslav Klose SV Werder Bremen
2005 Michael Ballack FC Bayern München
2004 Ailton Gonçalves da Silva SV Werder Bremen
2003 Michael Ballack FC Bayern München
2002 Michael Ballack Bayer Leverkusen
2001 Oliver Kahn FC Bayern München
2000 Oliver Kahn FC Bayern München
1999 Lothar Matthäus FC Bayern München
1998 Oliver Bierhoff Udinese Calcio
Not bad, yeah? His pricetag will be dictated accordingly. I'd venture to guess he'd be more of a summer consideration (cup tied), and Roma will have to start flashing some serious cash to even get Stuttgart to listen. I hope we see a lot more of these rumors, but I won't count on it until the summer. Roma can afford him, I just don't know if they'll be able to ward off Chelsea and Real when the time comes. SSR: Keira
* - I also suspect something would have to change tactically should he come aboard. That's fine, he's worth it. 14g in 22 last year, 7 in 11 so far this year. Kid's 22.
The Brazilians In Germany, Oh Glory Be.:
Gilberto MF/LB (Hertha Berlin): Versatile option which we've been seeing since the summer, which leads me to believe two things: Either TGIP really wants him or the media is just regurgitating rumors again. I'd buy either. He would be a quality vice-Tonetto, for a price which would probably appease the people who write that checks (that's you, Rosella). I suspect this is a legitimate option, although maybe not a first choice. SSR: Elisha Cuthbert
Lucio CB (Bayern Munich): You know what, I'm beginning to believe his name will be stenciled (or ironed) on one of these days. Could be this month or it could be in the summer. He'd fit in well as a third option and is certainly a better defender than Matteo Ferrari, and one who probably doesn't wear those gawdawful black boots (it looks like he's wearing anvils, which makes me even less confident in him than my already "hovering around bedrock" levels - thanks, Matteo). Kinda like Juan: An option who would do well in the league and probably come at a good value (6-8m). Basically, a cute first date who you wake up next to and doesn't drop the dreaded 3 words or "so are we together now?"....and then makes nasty tackles while walking down the street. (He makes sense. He wants Italy. Roma wanted him at one point. I see this as highly possible.) SSR: Pussycat Doll
The Run of the Mill Brazilians.:
Amauri ST (Palermo): The textbook case of a player going from vastly underrated to completely overrated overnight. He is very good. But he is no Messiah. He is not worth 30m. Nor is he worth the 6m per annum that has been reported. This is a case of every other team in the world being priced out by a person who would pay 20 for a pack of gum as long as it was Brazilian (I'm looking at you, Silvio). Roma isn't coughing up that much scrilla, and smartly so. SSR: Fergie
* - Amauri is going to shatter the record for "Guy who causes the most ruckus who STILL can't get a @#$%ing call up for his national team". Basically, if Vagner Love is getting called up over Amauri, and Zampa still wants 30m, you have your answer right there.
Fred ST (Lyon): Nope. If Spalletti thought he was capable of playing more than a backup role in the system he would've bought him in June. Another in the case of fragile ego who can just as easily disrupt the team chemistry as he can score goals. It made more sense in the summer when Mirko wasn't a sure thing. Now, not so much. SSR: Beyonce
Gilberto Silva CM (Arsenal): Really? Did someone in the press not get the memo there's another Brazilian midfielder named Gilberto, who just so happens to be a legitimate Roma target, in Europe? And that GS is looking for PT, which isn't exactly running around naked waiting for someone to take it in Roma's central midfield at the moment? Come. On. People. This isn't rocket science.
Paolo Assuncao CM (Porto): Alright, it's getting hard to ignore all these midfielder rumors. Where are they coming from and why are they here? Is something going to change tactically or personnel-wise? Has Spalletti been conferring with The Don and is getting ready to unleash the first 5 man central midfield in the history of non-Nerazzuri calcio? I'm befuddled.
I can see Barusso leaving on loan. I can't really see Matteo Brighi going anywhere - too valuable for his price. DDR and King Alberto are here for life.....so that leaves David. Either that or King Berto is more hurt than anyone is letting on and I'm going to have to be committed to an asylum. Why is that every time the central midfield gets brought up I feel like someone just ran over my dog? Christ. Could we get healthy KA. Please?
I really don't get this rumor one bit. Other than the fact that he can Samba, how does he fit in? I'm beginning to think just being able to Samba is enough of a qualification in itself. SSR: Mariah Carey
Juan LB (Flamengo): Formerly of Arsene Wenger's stable, which usually says quite a bit. Other than that, I know absolutely nothing about him other than the fact that he might make Ludovic and David feel like giants. Could we get some average sized people in here please? This is a professional sports team after all. Not that the oompa loompas can't get the job done, but a dose of physical stature could go a long ways. Yeesh. SSR: Uhhh...uhhh....no idea.
Nilmar ST (Internacional): I think we may need legal representation just to report this rumor. His transfer between Corinthians and Lyon was a Philou-esque mess, and it appears he may have had his dirty little hands in the whole thing.
Anywho, this kid is a Phenom. PHEEEEENOOOOM. He was born to have a ball at his feet. Just like every other rumor here, I have no clue. He hasn't played much recently due to an injury, and I can imagine a few teams are wary of him. Which could mean his price is more than acceptable, and he'd certainly be ready to come in and do all those Brazilian things they do at Roma. I don't know, but this is the type of guy who could make you feel like an exceptional idiot in a few years if you don't pounce now. SSR: Ali Larter
* - It's really hard to judge people by YouTuber clips, but having seen him quite a few times in regular games (to the extent where I started making it a point to watch him play), he is this good. It would be an idiotic move to let this kid pass by. Even if he flops.
Daniel Carvalho AM (CSKA Moscow): Just you wait. Just you @#$%ing wait.....
What is it, January 3rd/4th? I'm sick of the mercato already.
From just this roundup, my wishlist:
1. Mario Gomez - The supermodel you have next to no chance with, but maybe she falls in love and you get lucky. (Or some shit like that.)
2. Nilmar - The sexy pick.
3. Tranquillo Barnetta - He's the girl you marry.
4. Lucio - Defenders are so lame, but useful. Like a scooter. (A shiny red scooter, at least.)
5. Amauri - I've decided I don't want to have to deal with the hype. But with a gun to my head...
6. Gilberto - Versatility is the name of the game, except when it comes to gender. Write that down.
7. Juan - I heart midgets. Just not that much.
8. Fred - The eventual restraining order.