So Roma has an agreement with Mauro Esposito and Cagliari and will be taking him on the next boat back to Rome. Wait. What's that? Nope, no they didn't. I guess it was all a bunch of crap. Hold up a second. It's back on. Wait, nope. Just canceled again.
Come. Don't come. I don't really care at this point. Just make a decision. And would somebody get Massimo Cellini a muzzle until this is over.
A lot has been brough up about Chivu lately (duh), so I'm going to lay out my thoughts real quick from both angles:
Chivu: I've always liked him. He's damn good. But my definition of elite includes doing it when it matters. Skillwise? Elite. Performance and instinct wise? Eh. He hasn't always shown up when it matters, and that's where I define elite. The best shine under the biggest spotlights. I have nothing against him, but tactically from the CB position I prefer ball-winning savages - Chivu isn't that. Just my preference, even though Juan isn't ideal at that either. How would I prefer next year? Juan in center, Chivu out left. The contract? I don't blame him for wanting to get paid, and it's not as if he's Romanista and was born into the club. He's going to be 27. This is his one big contract to get paid for life and play for a European monster. Go get it, my friend. He chooses that over Roma, that's fine. My issue is that he's negotiating with a rival behind Roma's back and hurting their leverage and then subsequently claiming Roma loyalty. Huh? Is he worth €4.5-5m per to me? No. Wonderful, take that yesterday seeing as how it's nearly double the Roma cap and be off. Just call a spade a spade. (If it is really just a negotiating ploy and he really has no plan to move to Inter, then i take everything back - but I seriously doubt such is the case).
Roma: They aren't exactly MENSA, so I take that into account before bashing people. I try to look at it from a relative viewpoint. Obviously if we had Einstein, Da Vinci and Hawking running the club I would be all over them. We don't. We have someone who has no idea what she's doing and a puppet. Fine, we have to work with what we have because none of us can change a damn thing - I'll assume.
The contract offer? I still believe a lot relates to Philippe Mexes' contract. How could they break the cap for Chivu and not Mexes? Should they have broken it? Yes. It's not as though Rodrigo Taddei would see that and immediately have his agent call up and demand €3m per. Until they do they won't be able to keep the elite talent unless they're born and bred Romanista. But that brings up the finances. Do I know? Nope. Not a damn clue. Neither does anyone else. The reported figures don't outline the entire situation (and as someone said, never trust Italian financial reports anyway). And it's a lot more difficult to run a club than we all assume. I give them the benefit of the doubt. Two years ago this club went 11-12-15 and finished 8th. Spalletti was brought in after the managerial carousel and last year they went 29-9-7. Even though it was a somewhat watered-down competition, they've still improved in the grand scheme. The big picture is making progress. As much as I'd like to argue with a lot of things, that's hard to discount. (Could they be better than they are right now? Absolutely. But they've still improved.)
Does Chivu deserve more money? Yes. Would I be sad to see him go? Mostly. Did the management fuck up? Maybe. I still think a lot of this is relative to Mexes. Yes, they should have taken care of this during the season, but we can't change what has already happened. We also don't truly know what went on behind the scenes. Contract negotiations are never simple in any sport. They're vastly different than everyday business. I'm withholding judgment to see how next year plays out. Obviously Spalletti isn't happy about losing one of his top players, but a lot of this had to do with Massimo Moratti's underhanded contract offer. If that €4.5m figure wasn't doing the cha-cha in the back of Chivu's head, would he have extended his contract? It's very possible. My main beef in this situation is with Moratti. Not Roma. However, do Rosella Sensi and Daniele Prade need to be replaced? Absolutely. The team has massive potential which is being partially squandered. Until then, it's not as bad as everyone thinks. They have a world-class youth system and it's not as though they're fighting relegation or are in danger of being dissolved. Rome wasn't built in a day (If you were standing next to me I'd let you hit me for that, but I couldn't resist).
* - Btw, how do you think Zlatan feels that Chivu is being offered more scrilla than he? He cannot be happy whatsoever.
A small but meaningful development in terms of compensation in a possible Christian Chivu deal, rumors are stating Victor Obinna might turn down a deal with Rome in favor of joining the Viola. The reason? Cash, obviously. We shall see, but it could allow enough time for Barca to either jump in with a larger offer or drop out, enabling Real Madrid to come in and offer up big money. Also in the Madrid spectrum, it's being said they're offering 5m per annum to Chivu. Yup, €5 million. One would think the Club of the Century wouldn't have to grossly overpay to get their targets, right? Because that's way over the top. Hopefully Chivu sees that offer and forces a deal to Madrid.
I) Aquilaninho was named to the U-21 Team of the Tounament, and very deservedly so. He and Giorgio Chiellini were the only two Italians to make the squad. The rest of the team reads like such:
GK: Damir Kahriman (Serbia - FK Vojodina)
DF: Gianni Zuiverloon (Netherlands - Heerenveen); Chiellini (Juventus); Branislav Ivanovic (Serbia - Lokomotiv Moscow); Aleksandar Kolarov (Serbia - Lazio)
MF: Royston Drenthe (Netherlands - Feyenoord); Aquilaninho; Hedwiges Maduro (Netherlands - Ajax); Bosko Jankovic (Serbia - Palermo)
FW: Maceo Ritgers (Netherlands - NAC Breda); Leroy Lita (England - Reading).
Quality team, I'm a little surprised that Chiellini made the squad - he was good no doubt, but he was listed at CB when he's a LB. There had to be some better CB options. I'll take Maduro and Drenthe please and call it a day. Here's the link to the video of the selections with player highlights. Scroll down and it's on the right hand side, second video under 'Today's Top Stories.'
II) A nice quote surrounded by butterflies and cupcakes from Fiorentina's owner Diego Della Valle:
"A big gift for Florence is about to arrive, let's let Sports Director Pantaleo Corvino work in peace and soon there will be a big deal."
I really am assuming this is Franco Semioli, though I wouldn't exactly consider his purchase a "big deal." There's a slight chance it could be regarding Alberto Gilardino or Rafaelle Palladino, but they're already chock full of strikers with Bojinov, Lupoli, Mutu and Pazzini. Unless Prandelli is planning on playing a 3-2-5. We should know by January.
III) If you hadn't heard, Julien Faubert decided to sign with West Ham United in his pursuit of Champions League football, which was his reason for demanding out of Bordeaux. I guess Champions League is French for "relegation battle."
* - If you see Spalletti, go give him a big hug - he really wanted Faubert.
IV) When I pulled up TMW yesterday there was a headline that had two nouns in it: Roma and Olivieri. For a second I thought it was regarding Ricardo Oliveira of Milan fame. I'm not joking when I say I nearly threw up. Luckily it was referring to Attilio Olivieri leaving the club after many years. Close one.
V) Legea has upped their offer another €500,000 to take the lead from Kappa - though a bidding war could be on the way. I'm going to believe that Rosella has an IQ slightly above that of a baboon and she'll realize they would lose at least that much in shirt revenue by going with Legea, especially in the international market.
Expect Legea to be making the unis next year.
VI) Looks like Spalletti is after more Cagliari talent, this time it's defender Michele Canini. Cellini has said he's not for sale, so I'd suspect Roma will respect his wishes and not pursue it any further, considering their good working report. Though he also said that if Cagliari does sell, the first option will go to Rosella and Prade.
I love that Roma is forming a solid kinship with a club, I just wish it was one which produced high-quality talent on a regular basis. It's not as though Cagliari is regularly filling up the rosters of the big clubs or stockpiling the youth national team set-up. That whole Suazo situation didn't exactly work out in Roma's favor either. However, I still hope Roma sends some of the youngsters on loan to Cagliari and someday in the near future a diamond comes through the Cagliari setup and is handed over to Roma due to the friendship. Good juju.
VII) When I did my summer preview(which could become not-so-embarrassing at some point) fantasies, I mentioned one person who I would love to see make a short-money move to Roma: Mathieu Chalme from Lille. Big engine, hugely versatile and serious pace - he's one of those guys you just want on your squad when you need to plug holes. Well, it looks likes he could head to Bordeaux as Faubert's replacement.
"It's like rain on your wedding day
It's a free ride when you've already paid
It's the good advice that you just didn't take."
Don't cha think?
VIII) About 12 minutes after I asked Jan what the situation with Roque Santa Cruz was, an interview was released saying Roma is his dream. Well. I like his potential, I like his versatility and I like his relative pricetag (€5m). He's injury-prone, which is a major concern, but he has big talent and is the same price as Esposito. Nothing was mentioned about any return love, but it's known in the past Roma has had contact. There could be more to this.