First and foremost, a happy birthday to the man, the myth, the legend, Daniele De Rossi. The scary part? He's only 24 and isn't even close to his prime. It's also a shame how underrated he is amongst the casual fans, although it's part of the job description for defensive midfielders (even though he is technically a box-to-box mid). They're the offensive and defensive lineman of calcio, doing all the dirty work but never getting their due credit. At least Roberto Donadoni realized this, and hopefully he'll own that No. 10 shirt for the rest of his Azzurri career. Although some people think he has a threat from none other than Alberto Aquilani. It's going to be good to be a Roma fan for the next ten years or so. One of the few videos dedicated to Daniele, and a great one for that matter. There isn't a midfielder on the planet I'd take over DDR. No, I'm not biased whatsoever.
It's been reported that there has been another extension offer to Chivu, which I'm not sure I buy for a second. Although the Becali brothers are supposed to be in town today to rob a bank and then go slap orphaned babies, because they're just classy guys like that. Unless Rosella ups the offer significantly (doubt it), this will be Chivu's last season in a Roma kit - if that. But wait. Apparently there was a super-secret meeting held in an underground bunker between Rosella Sensi and Massimo Moratti, and reportedly Marco Andreolli is the hang-up for the transaction. Supposedly Moratti (or Mancini) doesn't want to let him go, and Roma is insisting upon at least a part of him in any deal. Wait, now they've supposedly agreed to a cash only deal for €15m and the transaction will be completed at some point tomorrow, with Chivu inking a deal for years worth roughly €3.5m per year.
Excuse me? €3.5m per annum? You mean he'd be taking less than the Roma offer after performance bonuses? Less than Real Madrid's offer which would've seen him move out of Serie A and net Roma an extra €3m, not to mention a month without all of his shenanigans? Wait, Chivu will take a €1m per year pay cut just so he can move to Milan?
This is all a lot of speculative reporting, so I'm going to hold off judgement until the truth comes out. But if it's true, Chivu just became the most hated person at the Olimpico, and a Grade A scumbag in my book. I don't know if he's a mercenary or just an all-around jackass now.
But at this point, I'm going to need to see a written contract in blood, because this is about the 5,983rd time he's been headed to Inter within the next 24 hours.
I) If Chivu is in fact moved within the next 24 hours, I would expect an announcement regarding the arrival of Francesco Modesto shortly thereafter. This guy is the mistress who's been hanging around while waiting for her married guy to get a divorce so that they can be together and live happily everafter. Then the divorce starts getting messy and it takes forever and he ends up running off the Mexico with the contents of their bank account in a '76 Camaro. Think about it. It makes sense. Or not.
II) It looks like there might still be a spot on the roster for Token Romanian Not Named Adrian Pit (Pronounced 'Piz'). Ciprian Marica has inked with Stuttgart, which is good. Let them deal with the Becali brothers. If Chivu's sold, then I'd expect we might see a banishment of nearly all Romanians from Roma for years to come. Kind of like Inter with Italians.
* - Provided the Becali monopoly holds true for the great majority of uber-talented Romanians.
III) Livorno now wants in on Matteo Brighi. Let's just put it this way, any team that didn't qualify for Europe last season is interested in Matteo. Cool? Cool. I still hope he sticks around.
IV) There are certainly some strange non-rumors floating around. Like where's any interest for Shabani Nonda, Edgar Alvarez, Adrian Pit or Samuel Kuffour. Nonda they might actually keep so thy don't have to go striker shopping and can use him as a 3rd stringer. Spalletti has mentioned Piz as being an option on the left but does anyone really expect him to play at all? Why isn't he being sent out on loan? Kuffour is easy. No one wants him. Even though he is supposedly drawing interest from Greek and Turkish clubs. Which is code for "your career is over, buddy."
V) I'm actually most surprised by the lack of Alvarez rumors. He isn't ever going to have Arjen Robben talent on the wings, but he certainly brings a plus plus attribute to the equation. A team that was fighting relegation and isn't exactly overflowing with talent couldn't use someone like him? Especially at his price, probably close to a €1m or so. Messina rejected their option to sign him for €1.5-1.9m I believe. He's really become surplus to requirements now with the speed and skill of Ludovic Giuly and Mauro Esposito coming in, not to mention Aleandro Rosi still seems to be hanging around. I'm sure he'll be moved eventually, but there has been little to no news regarding any interest on him this summer. Maybe it's because clubs saw the interview when he was asked how he runs so fast and he replied "burritos." Nice. There are so many 2nd grade jokes there I can't even begin to count, but I'll spare you.
VI) I guess we can restart that Leandro Rinaudo rumor mill back up. He's been on vacation for a few days. And is anyone else concerned that a team like Palermo, who isn't exactly a big time club, is looking forward to selling him? Obviously he's talented, Uncle Fester wouldn't be interested in a defender under 47 unless he had special abilities, but still. Palermo couldn't use a quality backup CB? Especially when he won't be sold for big money? Smells a bit fishy to me. Although absolutely everything involving Maurizio Zamparini smells fishy. Who knows. It's not as if Zamps is the king of awesome decision making, but I still have a few questions about this.
VII) A pretty good article from ESPN on Totti and his departure from the Azzurri, as well as the media backlash he has suffered from everything he's ever done throughout the years. The author makes some very good points from both sides of the argument, and I agree with a lot of what he says. Totti has certainly taken some unfair criticism from the media over the years, but there have been a few episodes where he hasn't exactly helped himself. No need to go into detail there.