Disclaimer: I could be way off base here, but I'm going to theorize for the sake of theorization. So, if you disagree, go yell at someone else, like Robert Mugabe or that creepy guy who continually calls you up 12 seconds after you step out of your car because your car lights are on even though they're on a 30 second timer. Yeah, go yell at that guy. Or the French.
(Doesn't that graph of the Lorenz attractor make this page look studious? Kind of like a textbook page? Don't worry, I'm going to do my very best not to say anything intelligent, shouldn't be a problem. Also, I'm pretty sure I drew that same exact picture when I was in pre-school with crayons in my nose and then rediscovered it in one of my $862 college textbooks. What a scam.)
So, if Thierry Henry is worth €24m, does that mean the rest of Europe just had their value drop by about 50%? I know he's 29 but, for my money and many other's, he's simply the best striker in the world. Il Capitano may have won the Golden Boot, but Titi is on his own planet (I may have a slightly unhealthy man-crush on Totti but I'm not dumb - always). I couldn't imagine he'd go for anything less than €30-35m, despite his age - he has at least 3-4 world class seasons in him. So, either Arsenal got screwed here or there's a lot more to this deal than is being let on, like a Giovanni dos Santos and/or Bojan Krkic going the other way (because we all know about Arsene Wenger's pedophilia youth scheme). There is no way in hell Titi is less valuable than Franck Ribery. For comparative purposes, Zinedine Zidane was sold for €66m at the same age. Anybody willing to take on the argument that Zizou was almost 3x the player Henry is at the same age? I understand the market was inflated at that time (see: Antonio Cassano for €28.5m), but still - even twice the player is a big stretch. There are still a lot of people outside of London and France who consider Henry to be the best player in the game, or at least a candidate. For current comparison: Nani & Anderson cost €25m each, Florent Malouda will cost the same, Ribery cost €26m, and Mahamadou Diarra cost €28m last year. Then there's Andriy Shevchenko, who cost €44m for lesser production* at the same age one year ago. Anybody taking any of that crew over Thierry Henry for the next four years? Not a chance here. Before you argue their ages, how many do you think will be with the same club in four years? One? Maybe two? Some people will say €24m is a fair price, but I can't really see it.
I'm not sure how this affects the market, but a lot of clubs are going to start rethinking some player valuations. That includes Barca and the dealings with Christian Chivu. They may have lost Puyol but I could absolutely see them walking in there and saying, "we just paid €24m for Thierry Henry. Here's €13m. Your move." And there isn't a whole lot Roma could say. Christian is only 3 years younger than Titi and he isn't even within arm's length of Henry's class. I could be wrong but I really feel a ripple effect across the board right now, provided the numbers are correct. (Anybody else dreaming of Julien Faubert for €5m?)
Regarding Barca, there's also the scenario where Real Madrid might jump into the fray to at least drive the price up, or even as a backup plan in case their first options (which Chivu doesn't seem to be anymore) fail to pan out. Or out of spite, as they can't be too happy about a lineup featuring Ronaldinho, Messi, Henry and Eto'o from their rivals, which would throw a wrench into things. But that's a conspiracy theory for another day. I have a theory that it's not good practice to incorporate more than one theory a day into a post.
* - Both Sheva and Henry arrived at the clubs where they made their names in 1999. Over the past eight years, the goal totals:
Sheva: 134 goals - includes last year with Chelsea
Henry: 174 goals
That basically means Chelsea will get 5 less goals on average per year than Barcelona will from Henry, for nearly twice the cost. I didn't look at assist totals, but it doesn't take a pro scout to see that Henry is a phenomenal passer and likely tops Sheva in total performance, not just goals.
Ah, chaos is beautiful - isn't it?
Chivugate (Spark Notes Version):
Barcelona in Rome yesterday. Preliminary talks. Prade spoke of meeting next week. No offer. €12m plus Giuly & Belletti is a bunch of crap. See: Salary structure. Cash only.
We done here? I'm ready for Chivu to be sent to Lokomotiv Moscow for a Matryoshka doll, an autographed picture of Mikhail Gorbachev and six rubles. I'm pretty sure at this point I'd settle for a forged signature too.
Though if Giuly came he could stand on Pizarro's shoulders and they could form a whole person.
The Et Cetera:
I) It looks as though Sampdoria have taken themselves out of the running for Vincenzo Montella due to his whopper of a contract. His salary alone would cost them roughly three-quarters of the sum they just got off Udinese in le buste, so it's not exactly a shocking revelation. There is some big doubt that L'Aeroplanino will stay in Rome next season, but it's going to be hard to find somebody willing to pay that contract, especially at a club of the level that his form dictates at this point in his career. The best possible chance was a deal with 'Doria where Roma took on a big chunk of his salary in a deal for Fab Quags, but that's out the window.
At this point it's anybody's guess, but I wouldn't be surprised to see a repeat of last season where he spends the first half of the season with Roma and is then loaned out in January. It just looks like all the injuries and age have caught up with him at this point. For all the service he's given to the Giallorossi, I would be thrilled to see him given a farewell tour as he rides off into the sunset. Anybody who nets 4 against Lazio deserves at least that much.
For all the non-Italian speaking ladies in the crowd, Totti's shirt in that video said 'sei unica' (sei also means 6), which means 'you are unique.' It was a message to the girl he just started dating, Ilary, who is now his wife. Can we get a collective, "awwwwwwwww."
II) Failed to mention this yesterday regarding the Juan signing, but as a part of the deal Roma will play Bayer Leverkusen in a friendly on July 29th in Germany. I bet that was the deal closing factor.
III) Franco Semioli's agent has declared that his indecisive winger will finally know more about his future on Monday, and Fiorentina or Roma will be his destination. Don't feed into the lies, people. Unless his agent meant Monday July 23rd, 2046.
Honestly, I like Semioli despite his flip-flopping - I'm just having fun. I think he's a class winger. I would be happy if he wound up at Roma, especially considering the rumors peg his fee as very fair. However, I'd take Faubert over Semioli 8 days of the week, and you know how I feel about the French. Faubert can take his game to that next level where he could be a world-class winger in the near future, and I really question whether Semioli can do the same. I'm hoping Franco is Firenze-bound, but he has made no attempt in the past to keep his love for the Giallorossi secret. I guess we'll just have to wait until Monday. Or maybe not.
IV) Speaking of Faubert, I read on the website of a Bordeaux newspaper (the town) from Tuesday that the French club and Roma will get together this weekend to negotiate over Faubert again. It has also been reported by bigger websites (though I do trust sources with a print edition a skosh more than just web-based outfits), so this may have some legs. It implied that the two sides were fairly far apart in terms of Bordeaux's end (which we knew), but that a deal was very possible. Bordeaux still want €10m, but Roma have yet to come past €5m. I'm hoping the Barcelona talks cleared up a little bit more of the financial picture and if Roma can bring the offer up to €7-8m, that should at least make Bordeaux think long and hard.
A few other French publications reported that Julien has stated that he and Roma have come to an agreement on a four year contract. Now, getting in general vicinity is one thing. Having agreed in principle on numbers is another thing. But knowing the specific length of a contract implies that there's a fountain pen open somewhere waiting for this to get done. Everything I've read from France either implies or surmises that Julien wants Roma first and foremost, and that he's being shown similar love in return (group hug). Otherwise, he would likely be in the Premiership right now. I'm trying not to get my hopes up, but it seems like all parties want this deal done. Well, except Bordeaux, but they don't really have a choice because Faubert has asked out.
This whole merry-go-round of right wingers/backs has got my head spinning completely out of control. Would somebody get me Adrian Mutu's phone number? Or Bobo's? Or Flachi's? Or (even better), where's Marco420 when you need him?
Wait, on second thought, hold up those transfer rumors. Check out his nationality. Umm, that may put up some red flags. Maybe that's why Roma was only bidding €4m. Hey, if Cristiano Ronaldo can play, why not Julien?
V) The article in that same paper mentioned a couple other names as back-up targets should Roma not acquire Faubert. One is our old-buddy Cicinho, and the other is another blast from the past, albeit not as omnipresent, Francois Clerc. You may remember those Mancini to Lyon rumors from a few weeks back, which we largely dismissed as nonsense, and rightfully so. But apparently, the rumor says that when Roma called about Clerc, Aulas asked about a deal involving Mancini. Not sure if that was the end of the conversation, but it's just another name to add to the smorgasbord of player's already linked somewhat legitimately. I like Clerc, but I don't know anyone who likes dealing with Aulas unless they have to. Not happening. As for Cicinho, I'm still thinking he is a great possibility. But who knows anymore. The whole transfer season was flipped upside-down after Roma started conducting good business.
VI) Roma should be wrapping things up with Francesco Modesto fairly soon, they just have bigger fish to fry at the moment. Reggina's management have been continually speaking to various radio programs regarding this, and I have no clue as to why. They seem a little antsy to get rid of him. A tad worrisome, as any team needs good young defenders.
VII) Torino have stated that they will not be selling Alessandro Rosina, what a shocker, and that a swap with Roma for Mirko Vucinic will not be happening. They're still interested in Mirko but Roma nixed that quite quickly. No Rosinaldo, no Vucinic. Oh well, start praying for Faubert.
* - Just saw that Faubert and Rangers are close. But for €6.5m? Roma can't scare up that much cash really quickly? I'm questioning this. And who the hell wants to play in Scotland? No offense, but he's too good.
I'm really questioning this now. He's turning down Roma, Fiorentina, Milan and Arsenal for fucking Glasgow Rangers? That's like turning down a date with the cheerleading squad in high school to go out with the fat chick on the chess team. Until I see a signed contract I don't buy it.
Rumor has it Daniele Prade jumped into thhe fray to trump that €6.5m offer. Looks like Bordeaux got exactly what they wanted, something to drive the bidding up.