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Pizarro, Chivu & Le Buste (Holy Christmas)

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572466368_e11b78cdb5_m.jpgThe Shenanigans:

Alright, yesterday there was some premature reporting of a Christian Chivu deal sending the Romanian to Internazionale and Roma spending more than half of the inherited sum (6.5m) on David Pizarro's remaining half contract. I purported this myth so I apologize, but - in my defense - it was a pretty bullshit deal to say the least, and it was being reported by multiple sources. So if some people jumped the gun, well, it wasn't entirely unjustified. The reported deal was Chivu for 12 million euros, nothing else. Which would mean the total transaction between Inter and Roma to swap Pizarro and Chivu would be: Pizarro + 5.5m for Christian Chivu. If it wasn't for Rosella Sensi and Daniele Prade, I'm sure nobody would have believed it. However, the Roma management is known for making terrible decisions and losing tons of cash they should have pocketed (see: Antonio Cassano).

As for the real happenings, Roma officially acquired the rest of Pizarro's contract for 5.75m euros, so here's to hoping he sustains a lengthy, nagging injury and Aquilaninho gets his much deserved place in the starting XI. You know how I feel about Pizarro, I think this is the worst piece of business Roma could have done (12.25m for David, any takers? annnnny takers? didn't think so) this summer outside of selling Chivu for 50% of his value, which they still may do. Though I will give them credit for getting him at 5.75m, because Inter wanted 6.5m and Roma was offering 5.5m they "won," even though they really lost. Luckily the payments will be made over 3 years so there is very little hit to this year's transfer budget, just Aquilaninho's development. Regarding Chivu, the official website has issued a statement saying there have been no negotiations regarding Chivu and Inter and the only discussions involved Pizarro. That's a relief, but there's still ample time for Sensi and Prade to fuck this up. And they'll damn sure do their best.

For the current dealings, Roma will go to envelopes with two players today as far as I can tell. Since Lega Calcio is in a league of its own regarding contract dealings, here's a quick summary of how envelopes and co-ownership works. If you know how they work, trust me and skip the next two paragraphs. Even if you don't know how it works, you may want to skip the next two paragraphs anyway. You'll thank me later.

Co-ownership: Essentially Italian football's version of lay-away. When two clubs agree to sell 50% of a player's contract to a team in return for half an agreed value for said player. That player is then property of both teams, and the two teams agree on a "loan" period for which the player will play for the purchasing team. The deal is typically for a previously determined number of years (typically 1-3) and after that initially agreed upon period has ended, the clubs revisit negotiations to come to a mutual agreement. There is a deadline every year for each co-ownership issue to be resolved (this year's date is, whaddya know, today) and if no mutual accord is agreed upon, the deal goes to a blind auction or "envelopes."
Example: Roma bought 50% of Marco Cassetti's contract from Lecce last season for a little over 1.5m euros. Because the agreed period is over, they now have to revisit negotiations with Lecce to figure out what to do next season. Lecce can either a) continue co-ownership for another season b) sell Roma the remaining half of Marco for an agreed upon price c) buy back the 50% they sold to Roma last season for an agreed upon price or d) come to an agreement with Roma where both clubs agree to sell Marco to a third club and split the profits. There's also the more complicated issue of one club selling their half to another third party club. In other words, it's complex and only works in a place like Italy.

Envelopes: Also known as a blind auction or le buste, it occurs when two teams cannot come to an accord by a specific date. Then each club is given an envelope in which they put a specific written offer without the other club knowing the number (I'm not sure if this is how it's physically done but you get the idea). After each club has submitted an offer, the club with the higher offer "wins" and buys the remaining half of the player's contract from the other club. Quite simple.
Example: Roma and Lecce cannot come to an agreement over Marco Cassetti. They each submit an offer for Marco in an envelope. If Roma submits 1.25m and Lecce submits 1m, then Roma has to pay 1.25m to Lecce for the full rights of Marco. If Roma offers 1m and Lecce offers 1.25m, Marco becomes Lecce property again. And I have no clue what happens in the event of a tie, so don't ask.

Everybody good? Moving on.

So, it looks like Roma will be going to envelopes with Lecce over Cassetti and Torino over Gianluca Comotto.

Per Le Buste

Marco Cassetti: No clue how this will play out. Roma paid 1.5m euros for half last summer and he played very well for Roma this past year. I'm a little confused as to why this is going to envelopes in the first place. My first guess would be he stays in Rome, but I was also pretty sure he wouldn't be going to blind auction. Who knows.
Gianluca Comotto: Spent the last two years at Torino and had his half-ownership purchased outright last year for 1.2m. Apparently if Roma wins the auction he will be come part of the Esposito deal and immediately be shipped to Sardinia. Works for me - though I think Torino will bid high enough to keep him.

How would I have played out the Pizarro situation? I would've offered a euro and nothing more. I don't even think he's worth any more than the 6.5m Roma paid for him last season - and you will find many many people outside of Rome who feel the same way. He might be a playmaker but there are two sides to the ball, and preventing goals is just as important as scoring - unless you're Barca. At which point you can say "fuck defense" and give Messi a Red Bull and the ball. Can you imagine how may goals Messi would score if he truly became like his idol, Maradona, and started snorting mounds of cocaine? Like at half-time, just pulled a Tony Montana and stuck his face in a pile of Colombian pure? He'd probably score 50 a season. Someone give Bobo Vieri's number to Barca. The world needs this to happen. And yes, I just turned half of David Pizarro's contract into Lionel Messi swan-diving into a pile of china white. I'm not sure what to do with myself sometimes.

I can't wait until today is over and some stuff is settled.

The Rest Of It:
I) Rumors are flying Roma have agreed on a deal with Cagliari for Mauro Esposito. The suppposed deal is half of Gianluca Curci, Daniele Gallopa (or Gianluca Comotto if Roma wins the auction) and 3 million for Esposito and likely Antonio Chimenti. I'll know much more soon, but the determining factor is whether or not it is a loan for Curci or co-ownership. Curci could well be worth more than Esposito very very soon. There is a question as to whether Esposito will choose Roma (Champions League) or Napoli (hometown) and it will take a little time to sort the whole situation out.

That's exactly what I was looking for, more indecision.

II) As reported by the Queen of Party-Pooping, Martha, Bobo Vieri is drawing significant interest from Serie A's resident nuck-futter, Maurizio Zamparini. Seriously, Martha, you couldn't even let me have a week with my Bobo fantasies. Do you enjoy dashing people's hopes and dreams? Do you also murder three-legged kittens with Mido in your spare time? Whadafuxup?

Please come to Rome, Bobo. Please. (I'm messin, Martha's way awesome.)

III) Quote of the day:

Marco Amelia’s agent has revealed that his client is ready for a Lazio move, despite the Biancocelesti’s unawareness on the issue.

Well, that's gonna be awkward for somebody. Kind of like that annoying kid who always used to invite himself over to your house after school everyday. Alright, I'll admit I did it. But I was in elementary school and he had Goldeneye for N64 and Playboys, which I read for the articles. Stop acting like you wouldn't do the same. I didn't even like the kid. He got someone to hang out with, I got James Bond and Jenny McCarthy - a lethal lethal duo in the mid-90's. Everybody won. Moving on....

All this from Marco after saying he would love to come back to play for Roma? Seriously? Come on bro. I can understand turning on the team that dumped you as a pup, but to be alright with either Lazio or Roma? Amelia and Franco Semioli need to get some IV drips of Midol and Ghirardelli chocolate. Man up, fellas.

IV) While I was diving through the endless rantings of distressed Roma fans on message boards yesterday, I came upon this video detailing David Pizarro's playmaking abilities. I sincerely apologize and retract my statement that Pizarro isn't worth 13m. The ease with which he can lay the ball on an attacker's foot, just a whisker from the keeper's outstretched arm, is astounding. The pace and touch on the ball was timed with nary a sign of imperfection. David Pizarro is truly a midfield maestro of highest regard.

Zizou, eat your heart out.

* - To those who questioned Pizarro's worth, it was around 8m euros (Stats Inc. is pretty good, no?). UEFA rated it at 10m including half of Goran Pandev, but co-ownership worth is speculative in such cases. Yes, Pandev was part of the deal but this was in 2005 when Pandev had yet to play above Serie C1 and had scored a whopping 7 goals in three years in the third tier, he was never valued much at all. There were some Italian & Chilean web sites regurgitating the same thing, a deal around 8-9m plus Pandev's nearly non-existent half. Also from ESPN:

Among the usual suspects for the 8m euro rated Pizarro are player-collectors like Inter (whose owner Massimo Moratti is said to be a great admirer of him), Roma, Juventus, possibly Parma, Deportivo La Coruna and Real Betis.

Next time somebody questions a source please make it less difficult than how much Udinese sold David Pizarro for 2 years ago. Nobody in the media exactly gave a fuck, especially the English-speaking variety, and it wasn't easy finding it. Thanks.

V) Apparently Roma have sold off Damiano Ferronetti to Parma, where he has been playing recently. Unfortunately he was a pretty good prospect and a big part of the Azzurrini setup but had major injuries (back I believe) derail his career and has been making a "comeback" of sorts with Parma, even though he's still young. I liked Damiano but staying at Parma is best for him. The reported deal is something like 350,000 euros. Works for me.

VI) Roma has received 500,000 euros from Siena for the outright purchase of Daniele Corvia. It may be a small sum but it's nice to see the money adding up little by little coming in here. A few youth team products who would never see a day in the Giallorossi kit can be used to pay for guys like Barusso, Modesto, Cassetti, etc. Guys who will come in on relatively short money. It works out well for everybody. People helping people.

VII) Julien Faubert's agent did an interview with an Italian radio station and mentioned Roma's interest was still there, but nothing was in place at the moment. That's nice and all, but the other part he mentioned was dreamy. Another of his clients has been discussed also with Roma and the agent maintained he was waiting to hear more from them. That client is Taye Taiwo, left-back from Marseille. And he is a fucking phenom extraordinaire. I'm not getting my hopes up (not much was made of the interest), he'd cost more than Faubert, but this kid is a superstar waiting in the wings. I would gladly sacrifice buying Fab Quag's for him. He makes Ahmed Barusso look like David Pizarro. Exactly.

I'm sure there's more but I'm way past flustered after the 24 hours of Roma news we've seen. Tuttomercatoweb has even crashed due to the plethora of absurdity running amok in the boot right now. I'm sure Rosella and Prade will send Totti to Lazio for a man-purse and a manicure just to spite me today. Enjoy the chaos.