This is my favorite part of the summer. When legitimate news comes out of absolutely nowhere with nary a rumor. Il Romanista reports this morning that Roma and Lyon had discussed a move regarding their prolific Brazilian striker, one Frederico Chaves Guedes, better known as Fred. The paper also reported that Fred had agreed to accept a less than "substantive" contract just to come to the capital city. Lyon had slapped on a 15 million pricetag which the Roma hierarchy felt was a fair price, and I wholeheartedly agree with them. The kicker here was Luciano Spalletti, who said he didn't want to spend that much money on a player who would sit on the bench. Not because of Fred's inabilities as a player, he praised his talent, but because he will not deviate from his 4-2-3-1 with Totti upfront playing as a trequartista (which really puts a damper on a lot of the Roman rumors). Fred is likely on his way out of Lyon this summer(I'm waiting for Inara to pounce on me. I still think he's gone.), the club wants to focus on Benzema and Ben Arfa as the future and it's hard to blame them. I've always been a big fan and think he would do extremely well at a big club.
Other transfer rumors:
1. Il Romanista also suggested Roma is looking at Igor Budan (the guy Palermo owns but send on loan every single year) as a much cheaper alternative to Fred, and as someone who could come off the bench. However, they report it as less than likely as Roma have taken to searching out players with a "champion's" talent (Saying they are going after players of the class of Ibra, Crespo, Adriano and Cruz. Cheers to that.). All of this is a bit confusing and worrisome if Spalletti refuses to deviate from playing Totti up front. It's hard to argue against Totti being a fabulous centrocampista playing between two attacking wingers, so let's hope Spalletti reconsiders. Of course he's picked up the Capocannoniere this year, what the hell do I know.
2. Roque Santa Cruz has stated Roma are one of three teams after his services, along with Real Betis and Marseille. Considering Spalletti's feelings on the forward situation, this little nugget also leaves one scratching the head. Roque has massive talent but can't seem to stay healthy and seems to have been asking out of Bayern for quite a while now. The price was shocking also, and not what you would think coming from the squad that used to rate Owen Hargreaves at an absurd 25 million pounds: only a tad over 5 million euros. At that price he is undoubtedly worth a gamble. Also, he isn't an out and out striker so he could even play on the wings or in the midfield. 5 million for a young, versatile, and hugely talented forward? Yes, please. Though I do think he would be massive in the south of France.
* - Beckenbauer said Bayern and ManU had agreed to a fee in the range of 17 million pounds. If the Canadian Hargreaves is worth 17 then I'm worth at least 6, and I haven't played footy in about 7 years. Nonetheless, I'm thrilled ManU are blowing that much scrilla on that chooch.
3. Matteo Brighi is return from his loan at Chievo, but won't be unpacking his bags right away. The former Juventus prospect has been Roma's version of Budan, they own him but loan him out continually. Brighi has turned into a good player at Chievo, they are the one team I always want to watch but never get the chance, and would serve as a good backup for De Rossi/Aquilani/Pizarro. Brighi was heavily favored to be a future Azzurri stud but hasn't exactly reached that high ceiling. Spalletti doesn't seem to be a fan, it's likely he will finally be moved permanently with Faty emerging and Jeremy Mathieu rumored to be on the way.
4. Negotiations for a new contract have begun in the Matteo Ferrari camp. I'm thoroughly nonplussed.
5. Not a rumor but I watched a little bit of the MLS game on ESPN2 last night at the suggestion of some people here. It seemed to me that they were playing in a pasture. I know most MLS teams don't play in soccer-only stadiums, and I don't know where the game was, but was it me or was that grass really long? The game really lacked pace and the ball just seemed to die at times. Or maybe that's MLS.....