After I wrote this Daniele Prade issued a statement saying they are not interested in Bojinov, which makes it all the more legitimate. Remember the official denials for Juan and Esposito? Now they're both Giallorossi. I'm just saying. I'm giving it a little more of a look than I would have before. So, it's either boom or bust: either it's not true whatsoever or there is more truth to it than Prade wants to let on - no middle ground.
So, remember that guy who was supposedly going to be the next big thing in Serie A? The guy who essentially disappeared from everyone's radar in the last year and was turned down by Juventus for relative peanuts (€6m) by their standards? You know, Valeri Bojinov from Fiorentina. Most everybody knows who he is. The kid who made his Seria A debut at 15 and became the youngest foreigner ever to to play in and score a goal in an Italian topflight game. That's no small accomplishment no matter how you slice it. Well, it seems he's back on Roma's wishlist. I say back because they were after him 3 years ago when he was still with Lecce, before Fiorentina purchased him for €13m. Here's the excerpt from the World Soccer Top 50 teenagers edition from August '04:
"Lightning quick and a brilliant dribbler, the Bulgarian is one of Serie A's most exciting attackers, attracting interest from the likes of Milan, Juventus, Roma and Barcelona. Has been with Lecce for the past five years, and his reward for a fine 2003-04 season was a place in Bulgaria's Euro Championshhip Squad."
To say this kid has talent is the understatement of the century. Besides the aforementioned speed and dribbling, he has great ball control and a booming left peg, and really should be one of the top 3 strikers in Serie A at his peak.
As pointed out yesterday, he has one year left on his current contract, and has been told by Fiorentina to either sign a long term deal or he'll be shipped off to the highest bidder (smooth, Della Valle). He'd sign a contract but he's wants a guaranteed starting spot. To which Cesare Prandelli replied, "No soup for you!" (That's a direct quote) For pricing, it would likely take between €10-14m. Torino and Napoli have supposedly offered around €9m, but the Viola are holding out for more. What Roma wants to offer is a whole different story. We can assume at this point it would be co-ownership. You know why.
Now, as far as Roma's tactics go, this is all very very confusing. Bojinov might be uber-talented, but he is not a winger. I'm sure based on pure athletic ability he could be worked into a winger, but how effective he would be is a mystery and whether it would be worth the pricetag is even more questionable. Maybe Spalletti sees something in him that could benefit his style of play. He is very athletically gifted. Or, I'm beginning to wonder if Spalletti is going to deviate from a 4-2-3-1 more often next season, even though it obviously worked. Mirko Vucinic is not a winger and neither is Bojinov, but both could certainly pair up top with Totti or even play in more of a 4-3-3 flanking Totti with Mancini or another winger. I don't know, I don't see this move happening really (see: Prade). Having two expensive young strikers ride the pine with a formation that only calls for one man up top is very mystifying. Either this is a bunch of hot air or Spalletti has something up his sleeve. If it is true, what I can say is this: They are willing to spend cash and go after big talent. Roma is obviously not fucking around anymore.
Also, apparently he's big shit back home back in Bulgaria, as is his pop star woman friend (sexy music video here, scroll down). His lady is hot, but she just looks like she has 3.5 STD's, which is bad, but a third less than Fergie. So things could be worse. And remember that free kicking left peg being lost in Chivu? If Bojinov comes, not a problem whatsoever. The requisite youtube compilation from his Lecce days (when he used to partner with Vuci and Marco Cassetti) - you're going to want to hit mute before watching the video, horrendous musical selection.
* - For the record, a 4-3-3 formation with two of Simone Perrotta, Daniele De Rossi, Alberto Aquilani and Ahmed Barusso covering David Pizarro's defensive duties would have me singing the highest praises of little David. Just so you know where I'm coming from. Never questioned his niche, just questioned how he fit in around the other Roma talent. He's not the type of player you build a squad around. De Rossi and Aquilani are.
Inter's new offer? €8m. No Victor Obinna. Thank you, Cristian.
Is it me or does it feel like Chivu has been negotiating on behalf of Inter the entire time with everything he does? Remember that little quote he had about wanting to live in Rome for the rest of his life, even after his career was over. Well, he can throw that dream out the window.
Real also signed Pepe for €28m, but I was under the impression they were after Chivu for the LB spot, not central defense. Who knows, but that's a massive difference in fee for Pepe. That says a lot.
I) Our favorite Ghanaian ball-winning savage, Ahmed Barusso, is officially official. I can't wait to see this kid on the pitch. Hopefully gets gets more PT than Ricardo Faty did last year (I suspect he will).
II) I think we've got about 24-48 hours before Mauro Camoranesi's agent starts spouting off to the press about Roma's non-existent interest in his client. It's not impossible, but the fact that the rift is due to Juventus' unwillingness to pay his salary demands probably should tip off a few people. Maybe.
III) One of the two players chosen to flash Nice's new Lotto kits for next year was Ederson. Methinks that's not such a good sign regarding a departure. The article about it read something like, "The birds have emptied the cage. Everyone is leaving the club. The apocalypse is coming. We love our faithful supporters. It's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fiiiiiiiiine. Hold me. Boo hoo wah wah wah." My French can be spotty, but that's my rough translation. Anyway, the basic summary is that Nice cannot afford to lose any players right now, and if they do, it will have to be at a premium. Ederson was always a pipe dream, but this makes it sound like mission impossible.
IV) Don't look now, Kappa has reportedly overtaken Legea to be next year's kit maker and could be announced soon. That's nice, but I expect another report within the next two days to say Legea has leapfrogged Kappa once again. Either way, let's hope they at least begin training with a concrete deal, because going to Trigoria sans sponsorship could be awkward. What do they do in such a case? Wear the old Diadora stuff? Use generic store bought unis? Casual Fridays everyday? I vote for the last one. That way Mexes could come dressed like Eminem and Barusso could wear a loin cloth.
V) In order to fuck with my head, some website has released the probability of a whole hoard of players who may or may not be changing addresses and mistresses this summer. Some guy named Chivu wasn't on the list, but there was one guy who could make it to the Olimpico. His name? The Man, The Myth, The Legend: Bobo Vieri, at 30%.
I need more Bobo in my life. Whether or not it's good for this team I don't know. But I damn sure know it's the best thing that could ever happen to this blog. Get after it, Rosella.
* - Also, if Bobo does sign, I'm giving 6-1 odds he impregnates Rosella by the end of the season. With 3-2 odds the sex tape documenting the passionate romp which created said baby is released globally. The title being "Bobo Gone Wild: Veni Vidi Vici"
VI) This is just one of those things you do a double take at: Genoa is interested in Christian Panucci. Huh?
VII) Daniele De Rossi had a nice little interview here. The funny part was how he compared Aquilaninho to Tiago, ex-Lyon and now of Juventus just-promoted pseudo-fame. Which would give HUGE creed to the theory that he could take over in little David's position. Complete midfielder that is the engine of the middle third. I'm just sayin.......