Yesterday was the day of official announcements and such, and Roma have now officially acquired Juan from Bayer Leverkusen for €6.3m and the full sum of Mirko Vucinic for €7.5m. It was reported earlier that Roma had bought only half of Mirko, but this was technically incorrect. The transfer fee will be paid in two separate installments, €3.75m over the next two years. Juan's arrival has been the worst kept secret in Europe since February or so, and this was more of a formality (and for Martha, his full name is Juan Silveira dos Santos). Mirko was another case, he didn't exactly shine in his first season at the Olimpico and €7.5m is no small chunk of change for a club with a reported €20m transfer budget (I'm beginning to think it's close to the higher end of €30m), even if only half the sum is factored in this year. Hopefully a full preseason, or any preseason, with Roma and a year off injury will benefit Mirko greatly so he can fulfill that ridiculous potential he showed at Lecce. I'm not looking for a repeat of the 19 goals in 24 games at Lecce but I don't think 8-10 in all competitions is unachievable, provided he gets an increase in playing time. I love both of these signings. One is already world-class and the other very well should be. Quality moves for a skosh under €14m.
The Economics (FTSAH*): Mirko cost Roma €3.25m last season, so his complete total comes to €10.75m. Fair price for someone with so much talent.
It seems Juan's fee will be paid over 2.5 years in 5 installments every 6 months, so that's €2.52m against this year's books. David Pizarro's €5.75m will be paid in 3 installments - which works out to €1.92m. If this is how the actual payments will go, I really don't know - but we'll use it for now. As for Vucinic, his number against the budget this season is €3.75m, with the other half being sent to Lecce next year. Ahmed Barusso cost between €2-2.5m, so we'll assume the high end. The co-ownership with Marco Cassetti will even itself out with the sale of the three kids, and Roma will be taking in between €1-2m for Comotto to add to the bottom line. So,
€2.52m + €1.92m + €3.75m + €2.5m = €10.69m against this season's budget.
My applied differential equations class in college was a hell of a lot easier than figuring out Roma's books, but I was curious. Four quality to high-quality players (I'm including Pizarro in that) for next year for €10.69m, that's really some pretty decent business. Not bad, Roma. Not bad.
I'm not going to do salaries because that's a lot more complicated with the incentives and such. And if you think I'm going to start figuring out Italian taxes before I have to pay them, you're out of your mind.
* FTSAH = For Those Scoring At Home. Learn it. Live it. Love it.
The news involving Chivugate had little to do with Christian Chivu yesterday, but it will likely have a huge impact nonetheless. Barca lost captain Carles Puyol to a torn ligament for at least 3 mos, some reports saying a minimum of 6 mos. Either way, ligament injuries can be very tough. Considering Barca's main task this summer was to be shoring up the defensive back and Puyol was their only consistent star last season, this doesn't bode well for Barca. It does, however, bode well for Roma, because they just gained massive leverage over Barcelona. They were looking to Chivu to help shore up the back line anchored by Puyol, now they need a world-class defender that can replace Puyol until he is able to return and then form a partnership with Captain Caveman.
As for Roma, this is just huge huge huge. Even though Barca reportedly had yet to contact Christian's agent, they met with Roma officials this morning. Daniele Prade maintained that talks were little more than preliminary, but it has widely assumed that a €15m offer(min.) was on the way. Now, Roma can finally play hardball because world-class defenders don't exactly grow on trees and there aren't too many on the market. There will be a few relatively big-names to make the rumor mill, like Pepe and Jorge Andrade; but Chivu was on Barca's platform anyway. If Barca was sincerely ready to offer €15m as a starting point before Puyol's injury, then Roma need to settle for absolutely nothing less than €17-18m now. Ideally Roma would start off negotiations at €20m+ and refuse to drop the price to see how far they could push Barca, but I don't think Rosella has it in her. I'm not sure the word leverage is in her vocabulary.
If nothing happens regarding Barcelona over the next week or so, hopefully Roma will at least use this as a negotiating tactic with Inter and use that to drive up Chivu's price substantially. Even though I'm fairly convinced Moratti isn't so hot and heavy for Christian anymore. Hopefully Roma doesn't bite at the first offer that comes along and they milk Christian for every penny he's worth. Yes, I'm quite convinced he was played his last day in a Giallorossi uniform. So start making plans for the press conference announcing his contract extension.
More Roman Nuggets:
i) Roma and Blackburn are discussing a move for Shabani Nonda which would net around €2m. Oh, how the mighty have fallen. In 2000 Monaco paid something like €20m for Chris from Rennes. Holy Fricken Moses. That, my friends, is what you would call an absolute nosedive. I wonder if anyone has lost 90% of their value over 6 years without losing an appendage, major organ or their mind (that one's for you, Antonio).
ii) Luciano's love affair with Jeremy Mathieu has picked back up again. I'm surprised it took this long. We've assumed Juan was coming regardless of Chivugate's result, but it's very possible Mathieu is Chivu's direct replacement in terms of a roster spot. They have been thisclose to closing a deal for what seems like decades, so I'd be surprised if this at least didn't get into the advanced stages. The former reports had him listed between €4-6m, and if Chivu goes that's a very fair price for someone of his quality and versatility. In Luciano's system he could cover six positions. Also, I'm pretty sure he won't be a hard sell. No wonder Luciano has devoted one of his infamous man-crushes to him.
iii) Cagliari have maintained there are talks with Roma regarding Mauro Esposito, but they would prefer that it be on a co-ownership basis. Let's call this The Fabio Quagliarella Effect. In other words, "if Mauro rediscovers his form of a couple years ago you're going to have to pay out your ass." Smart move from Cagliari, because Mauro is hovering around his "buy low" point right about now. I thought the co-ownerships were over. Damnit.
iv) File Giandomenico Mesto under the group "would be happy with either Lazio or Roma" aka get a clue you nincompoop. It's not both, it's one or the other. This isn't creamy or extra chunky. It's two fanbases who despise each other (mostly), there is no purgatory. It's only heaven or hell. Choose wisely.
I) One of my top ten favorite commercials ever. Carlos Tevez has quickly become one of my favorite players in the world. Great guy, huge talent and awesome personality - he would be tops on my list of player's for Roma to acquire. Unfortunately it would cost about twice Roma's budget. That and there's the whole Brazilian theme currently at Roma.
If losing David Suazo meant that Tevez would wind up at Inter, I would fly to Milan, kidnap Suazo and handcuff him to Roberto Mancini's wrist. And you know how I feel about Suazo. Carlitos is that damn good. Can you even imagine what he and Zlatan could accomplish together?
I'm getting all flustered and upset even thinking about this. We need to move on.
II) Credit goes to the lady for this one. (Warning: Crappy dancing video ahead.) There was a parody done of this dance from "So You Think You Can Dance" and it's an absolute riot. I guess that first routine was supposedly pretty good. To me it looked more like a coordinated seizure on stage. But I digress....
I apologize for making you watch the first one in order to understand the second. I really do.
III) I said yesterday we needed to come up with an official nickname for Vucinic, and I threw out Veni Vidi Vuci. Kokogol, Mirkonic and Voochi Vous were also nominated. I like the Veni Vidi Vuci for whenever he does something great, which should be often next season, but it's a little much for constant usage. We need more suggestions before we decide, keep em coming.
IV) Now that The Artist Formerly Known As The Divine Dimple aka Fab Quags aka Fabio Quagliarella has almost definitely been taken beyond Roma's reach, it looks like the number one person on the wishlist for the wings is Julien Faubert. Rosinaldo looks to be staying put in Torino for the time being, and Franco Semioli can't make up his mind. So let's get everybody onto the Julien Faubert to Rome bandwagon. Here are the requisite videos to make you all hot & heavy:
Highlights of last season. Check out the move and subsequent laser cross at the two minute mark. Holy Fuckin Christmas. If Wilhelmsson tried that he would've knocked the ball past the defender then ran straight into his backside. Oh Christian.
Game highlights, radio interaction and an expose on Faubert getting his leg tattoed. Roma seems to have great luck with hugely talented, heavily tattoed Frenchmen. All the more reason for me.
Bordeaux 2 - Toulouse 0. Game highlights but it has a few awesome displays from Faubert, including a goal. He just looks to be too good for Bordeaux, his moves are phenomenal and he drops back fairly far because of his defensive abilities but then flies forward to beat defenders to the ball. He's ideal for Roma. Essentially, he's Bizarro Pizarro (I'm really sorry but I had to).
More highlights, but a few of the defensive variety (Warning: QMC - Questionable Music Selection). I really hadn't seen this kid that much, had heard tons about him, but I want him at all costs now. He's like a more talented Tonetto; he can take care of the whole right side if necessary. That's priceless. (Thanks to Marco420 for the video)
I just want to know one thing: is Ligue 1 as a whole fairly slow or is he just that ridiculously fast? Seriously, he just blows by professional athletes with ease. Also, it's no wonder so many players score tons of goals in France and then struggle elsewhere (i.e. Nonda, Cisse). The goalkeeping is a little more than questionable. Actually, it's not just questionable. It can be downright fucking brutal. It's like a whole league of Fabien Barthez-like decision making without the talent. Ouch.
V) If somebody told you 6 weeks ago that Roma would be signing a Selecao starting XI mainstay, a 19 goal scorer at 21 years of age in Serie A, a beast of a midfielder considered the next Michael Essien from under the noses of both Milan and Inter and re-signing their best defender who is 25 years old to a long contract extension, all within the first month of the summer, how would you feel?
I would probably start stocking the shelves full of water and canned goods while bracing for the apocalypse. I know Chivu and the "sexier" names have dominated the headlines, but I'm thrilled thus far. I'm really hoping for a high-quality winger - not Esposito - and a little defensive depth (nothing fancy unless Chivu goes), but I'm really happy with the progress of the summer and wouldn't be crushed if Roma were done. The best part is they haven't been bent over for any of the deals (except Pizarro), they were all fair prices. The management can't be getting a clue, can they?
VI) It's the gratuitous 1980's Music Video Which Is Way Awesome Because It's So Ridiculously Over-The-Top. This has had my vote as best music video of all-time for years now. How can anyone argue that? I'll also give it a 73% chance of getting the song stuck in your head today. You'll thank me later. Ba dah ba dah Ba dah ba dah.
Actually, nobody really questioned it, I just wanted a reason to post sexy pics of Jenny. Anybody have a problem with that? Didn't think so. And if you click on the link at the bottom, most of you can relive the mid-to-late 1990's in splendid fashion (nsfw).
It's become a foregone conclusion that at some point during the night I'm going to get slapped or punched on the arm, chest or elsewhere by the lady because of these posts and comment pages. And for some reason I am also wholly responsible for Martha and her WAGs, as well as the fact that the closest Dunkin Donuts has stopped serving vanilla chais (it's fricken 85 degrees out), her height, Boston traffic, the rapid rise of the inflation rate in Zimbabwe and the Franco-Prussian War.
Oh, it's going to be a good night. Russel Crowe, eat your fucking heart out.
VIII) Zlatan's Corner:
Reporter: "Is your playing style Swedish or Yugoslavian?"
Zlatan: "It's Zlatan-style."
I've decided something at the offside needs to be solely dedicated to Zlatan more than a little corner once a week. I'm not sure what, but we all need this to happen. Martha, help me out here.
Zlatan's video of the week. Just last season's ridiculous highlights, but worth every second of it.
IX) Bringing back some classic ads. One of the ultimate football commercials. Anybody else have one of those "Au Revoir" T-shirts?
I hate to admit this, because I hate ManU, but Eric Cantona is The Guy. I mean, he's just phenomenal all-around. Great talent, ridiculous comments, drop-kicking fans - it doesn't get much better than that. He's the original Zlatan.
Unless your name is Francesco Totti, of course.
* The Great Hair Debate will begin Monday.