While we still don't know if Rudi Garcia intends to start the season relying solely on Torosidis, Federico Balzaretti and Dodo as his fullbacks, or how short a leash will he grant to 36-year old Morgan De Sanctis (henceforth referred to as MDS) this term, the talk of the day seems centered on offense. Namely, who will join Francesco Totti and Erik Lamela on Garcia's front line. A question that carries added weight with Mattia Destro's seemingly mounting injury concerns and the ever present Pablo Osvaldo transfer rumors.
So let's take a look at Roma's collective Plan B's.
While Gervais Yao Kouassi, a.k.a Gervinho, has some redeeming qualities, one has to wonder if it weren't for Rudi Garcia's pining for their glory days together at Lille, would Roma persist as much as they have? I can't seem to recall a transfer target in recent years thats been as divisive as Gervinho. On the one hand, his numbers (five goals, three assists in 18 appearances) aren't that bad, and he does have the ability to take on defenders and create chances. But when you dig a bit deeper, these numbers lose some sheen, as his success rate in those take ons is pitiful, his conversion rate on goals substandard, and his passing percentage is nothing to write home about, especially for a player in an advanced role.
But Rudi clearly sees something within him, something that leads him to believe those offensive inefficiencies will suddenly thrive in Serie A, that he's somehow the perfect compliment to Totti and Lamela, that his partial bald spot will mesh with Bradleys resplendently waxed dome. But what's even stranger is that his speculative move is making people clamor for Pablo Osvaldo, who, while not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, is a proven goal scorer, the same of which cannot be said for Gervinho.
If you've yet to witness the walking contradiction that is Gervinho, behold:
While he may have worn out his welcome with Roma (emphasis on may, remember, he's starting to look awfully good by comparison), he appears to have no shortage of Premiership suitors, the latest of which is Liverpool, who see our dear PDO as a replacement for the seemingly soon to depart Luis Suarez.
If the remainder of this summer has one certainty, it's that Roma will bring in a new striker, one who is sure to disappoint scores of Roma fans. So, will it be Gervinho or Gilardino? This proposed swap still hinges on one intractable factor, Borriello's wages. Marco ain't taking a voluntary pay cut, so I dont know what they're going to discuss in this meeting that didn't come up the first five times.
Absent from this, and really all the talk of strikers this summer, is the possibility, slim as it might be, of Borriello actually staying in Roma this season. Certainly not the worst of all the alternatives, but the lack of talk seems damning.
€10m.....€10m!? For that price, I hope Walter tells Fulham to *%&! off. Usually you see prices for any given player within a well defined, somewhat logical range, but with Osvaldo, we've seen the price fluctuate greatly, ranging from €10m to €20m. It's almost as if no one knows what to make of him...imagine that.
We almost had him a few years ago, and with PSG's profligate spending possibly putting Pastore out to pasture, El Flaco could be on the move once again. While his agent ruled out a move to Roma, his second year in Paris wasn't as flashy as the first, dropping from 13 goals in his first season down to a mere 4 last term. It seems as though Pastore has been around for ages, but he's only 24 and still has the world in front of him. Exactly who would have to make way to bring this move to reality is anyone's guess, but you tend to make room for players as talented as Pastore.
While we might not be getting David Luiz, Leandro Castan's future might be linked to that of his countrymen. With Luiz longing for Barcelona, Jose Mourinho's men might be looking for a defensive replacement in the form of our very own Leandro Castan. While there is no mention of a price in that link, and while Castan might not make anyone forget about Maldini or Cannavaro, he is a solid defender nonetheless, one whom Roma shouldn't dispose of without a ready replacement in mind.
Its this simple progression and play on words that gives this move so much credence. Whatever the case may be, Steaua seems to be playing hardball with both Roma and Spurs, holding fast to their €8m valuation for the young defender, having rejected Roma's loan/right to redemption offer and Tottenham's six million pound price tag.
So that's it for this Saturday's selection of Roman Rumors. With the North American tour about to begin, you can bet Big Walt is angling to wrap up this mercato and get Project Roma 3.0 on solid footing ahead of the new season.
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