Roma bagged Ludovic Giuly, in case you missed it.
Spalletti Speaks, So You'd Better Damn Well Listen:
Here's the basic breakdown of everything he had to say from yesterday's lengthy press conference (or maybe it wasn't that long and I have the attention span of Pauley Shore, either way):
Chivu: He's glad to have him on the team and he is an important member of the squad and that he still has hopes for a contract extension. It's possible he can play on the left. Blah blah blah, same old crap that I'm not sure I believe. I'm sure if a quality offer from Inter comes in Spalletti will personally toss his gear outside the gates of Trigoria and write his name on his kit in urine. Well, maybe not - but you get the idea.
Mancini: There was never any offer from Liverpool or anyone else for his services, which gives creed to the theory that the British media is shit. Contract renewal desires and such. More of the same.
Vucinic: He mentioned Mirko specifically a few times, and it seems he's on his mind a lot (for footballing purposes, I hope). I've widely assumed he will factor in much more greatly this year considering he has health and a year in the system under his belt - as well as the fact that Rosella might lose her mind if an €11m investment rides the pine. Luciano also mentioned Vuci's ability to play on the left, where there seems to be dearth of left-footed options.
Pit (Pronounced 'Piz'): Ummm. He mentioned Pit as a potential option on the left. You mean he's actually staying? Holy fuckin Christmas. Loan him out already Luciano. Who can make a successful transition from the Swiss #2 to a CL bound Serie A club? I don't care if he's 'quality.' I'm becoming more and more convinced I may need a straight IV of Valium and Bourbon this season. Either that or acquire a 1990's Robert Downey Jr. like drug habit. I'll let you know how that goes.
Brighi: He gave a less than ringing endorsement for Matteo by immediately referring to other squads when his name was brought up, even if the question asked about him staying. I feel bad for this kid. He's become that chick in college who has fallen in love with a guy and every time he breaks up with a girl he calls her to comfort him and they end up hooking-up. Then two weeks later he find a another girl and forgets all about her. The cycle continues and the girl with the crush ends up sleeping around to compensate for the void in her life and developing a cocaine habit to numb the pain which forces her to take off her knickers at the local strip joint to pay for her coke habit and then gets pregnant when she's just a little too desperate for an 8-ball one weekend and has to drop out to have Billy the Toothless-Wonder's child. Starring Lindsay Lohan as the coked up whore (she's been practicing for this role since she was 14) and John C. Reilly as Billy the Toothless-Wonder, because it's not a movie unless he's in it. SAG rules.
Rome is the guy, Brighi is the girl and either Reggina or Napoli are the strip club, in case you were wondering.
Fab Quags: He wants him. Bad. Actually he just said that he would complete them, but they also have Vuci - who he has less of a man-crush on. Vuci is like that girl who is lying in bed with her boyfriend as he stares up at the ceiling and she knows he's thinking about 'The One That Got Away.' Hopefully they have a therapist on staff for he and Brighi. Or at least some Prozac. (Done with the cheesy teenage metaphors, promise)
Juventus: Good team. Good summer. Good stuff.
Inter: Lying, cheating, rich, scumbag whores. Paraphrasing, of course.
Tactics: It's possible we might see some tactical variations next year, as well as some different formations. He rattled of the 4-2-3-1, 4-4-1-1 and 4-4-2, but I've been wondering if, with the acquisition of Ludovic Giuly, we might see more of a 4-3-3, especially in the absence of Simone Perrotta. With Daniele De Rossi and Alberto Aquilani or another CM/DM flanking David Pizarro and Giuly and Mancini as supporting forwards/wings. It's obvious from watching Giuly at Barca how effective he was when he played towards the center of the pitch in that formation, as well as having the ability to drift out wide. Because it would allow say Aquilani to drop back to cover Pizarro defensively while De Rossi pushes up or vice versa. It may not be tactically perfect but it's just a thought.
Most media outlets report the talks went yesterday, and that an extension is not far away, but that Mancini very well might break the cap with a deal until 2012. I could absolutely see that happening, even though I figured Daniele De Rossi would be the first (well, not first but you get the idea) to do so, for appearance reasons. It's a lot easier to justify breaking the cap for a future icon of Rome than pretty much anybody else. Hopefully they just get it done ASAP, before Massimo Moratti comes in and offers him €17m per season after taxes and in turn offers Roma a straight swap of a signed picture of Zlatan and the Inter laundry guy.
Other Largely Inconsequential Crap:
I) The Other Brazilian Keeper, Julio Sergio, inked a one year contract renewal for €160,000 to stick around as the 3rd keeper. I assume this means either Gianluca Curci or Carlo Zotti will be heading out on loan, at this point it looks like Zotti. Curci has been reacting to loan propositions like someone asked him to donate a kidney. I don't think he's going anywhere.
II) Speaking of Curci, he extended his contract until 2011, which locks him up until he's 26. Great move at this point. This second half of the summer is going to be called 'Post-Chivugate: All Extensions All the Time'
III) The Roma Preseason schedule:
24 luglio, Dortmund (GER) - Borussia Dortmund-Roma
29 luglio, Leverkusen (GER) - Roma-Bayer
4 agosto, Londra (ING) - West Ham-Roma
11 agosto - Juventus-Roma
I'm really looking forward to that August 11th game v Juve to see how the team is looking heading into the Super Cup. That and kicking the shit out of the Serie B champions. I can't imagine with that much turnover and not having spent the last year in any topflight competitions (they got bounced from the Coppa early), the preseason and first few weeks of the city will not be pretty whatsoever for The Tinkerman and his minions. I can't wait until Juve loses 3 in a row and David Trezeguet drops his shorts in front of the owner's box and has written 'Fuckin Trade Me You Fudge Packers' on his ass cheeks. Then two weeks later gets an extension.
IV) Valerio Virga may be loaned out to Perugia or Grosetto. I'm thoroughly non-plussed.
V) Not trying to get any hopes up here, but did anyone catch that news report they snuck in about Fabio Quagliarella signing an extension with Udinese? One that will triple his wages to a whopping €750,000 per annum. So to buy him it would cost €16m, but he's worth less than €1m a year to actually play for you? That sounds like the type of fuzzy math you see up in Milan. It's a wonder Pietro Leonardi can put food on the table. I say Spalletti leaves him a text message to meet him in a back alley in Udine to tell him Roma will offer him double that if he pulls a Chivu.
VI) More Julien Belletti rumors. Why? Is Marco Cassetti on the way out? Is something happening? The only team I know of who was interested in Marco was Udinese. Hmmmmmm. (No, I did not put these last two news bits back to back on purpose so that it would drive your mind insane with random possibilities)
VII) Reaching back into the transfer rumor rejuvenation machine: Remember the bid tabled by Roma for Juan Manuel Vargas? What ever happened to him. The offer was supposedly €4m, which makes me think it wasn't even close enough to getting Catania's attention. Because he's extremely versatile and is also considered to be an exceptional winger. Pretty much a younger, more talented Max Tonetto. He'd be huge right now considering the talent plus versatility combo. Plus, he's had offers from Juventus and Liverpool as well, so he's not exactly a schmuck. We'd assume, at least. Maybe he's one of those guys that the media just hasn't gotten much wind of lately (you know there are plenty of those). Maybe he's being considered a back-up option if Reggina gets tired of waiting for Roma and sells Francesco Modesto, after which Roma moves Chivu and they're in need of a LB. Just a thought.
Also, probably one of the worst lines in the storied history of wikipedia:
In 2005 Boca Juniors became so impressed with the player that they bought 10% of his contract.
10% huh? They liked him that much? "Hey, we don't think you're good enough to actually play for us, but we want to eventually cash in on your sale. Congratulations."
This makes me thankful I'm not covering Argentina, I'm not sure I could handle 37.9% ownership. Co-ownership drives me insane enough as it is.
VIII) After his press conference, word came out that Luciano wants to keep Matteo Brighi. I have no clue anymore. Keep him. Don't keep him. Whatever.
IX) I caught this too late for the Giuly post, but apparently the man has Magnum on lock.
* - GHD Round 2 Totti v Does It Really Matter? after this.