* - This deal isn't official, but I think it's fair to say Chivu is on the out very very soon. The details are obviously subject to change, but I've had enough of this whole mess. Prade and Cristina Mazzoleni just left Trigoria together, so who knows what that means. If Andreolli doesn't arrive in the deal, I could care less. But people close to both camps say he is involved in the deal, so I'm going to believe it at this point. If it changes, you'll be the first to know. If it doesn't happen, fuck it. I don't care anymore.
Stadio Olimpico's Revolving Door:
In case you've been living in a cocoon, Christian Chivu has been up for sale for the last 87 months, or so it seems. Yesterday, reportedly terms were agreed and an official announcement is pending. Now, considering Chivu reportedly knocked down his own personal demands to facilitate a move to Inter, on top of his refusal of a move to La Liga based strictly on contract demands, there will be nary another word spoken about him here for the remainder of the Roma Offside days, unless Ahmed Barusso plows through him like Francesco Coco plows through transsexual pygmies (either or). He's dead to me now - if you hadn't noticed.
Due to the impending transaction between Massima and Rosella, there will be a newfound influx of talented defenders and EU banknotes freshly inked from the basement of the San Siro heading to the eternal city. So, we've got a couple new names to introduce to the rest of the Giallorossi faithful.
born in: Ponte dell'Olio
born on: June 10 1986
height: 187 cm (6'1-6'2)
weight: 81 kg
I honestly thought he was a little bit taller (like 193cm), but that's still good height for any footballer, the same as Philippe Mexes. He hasn't had much of a chance to play in the Inter senior squad - 4 Serie A games last year - but he does have some pretty special abilities. Special enough to net him a pricetag of €7m with next to no experience. He's still on co-ownership, which means this year could amount to nothing more than a loan, but even if thhat's the case, they should be able to net at least that €3.5m in return should Inter want to buy him back.
As far as a footballer, he's one of those commanding CBs in the Alessandro Nesta mold, who has good abilities but reportedly exceptional awareness and positioning sense. My No. 1 desired attribute in any defender, so I'm thrilled that he was included in the deal. I will admit, however, that I really haven't seen him play much, and the U-21 tournament is not a good medium upon which to judge anyone's abilities.
He won't be asked to do much from a playing stand point, he's well behind Mexes, Juan and Matteo Ferrari on the depth chart. But he should get some early Coppa time, possibly partnered with Ferrari, and may even get some time against some relegation battle bound teams early on if Luciano Spalletti wants to try out that 3 back defense.
All in all a very good move from Roma to net this kid. They filled what is basically a 'depth chart' position on the roster with an extremely talented kid, and if he doesn't stick around for the future, will net them a profit in return next season. Low risk, potentially large reward, which seems to be the theme to this summer's mercato (see: Barusso, Esposito, Giuly). And dare I say, someone who, along with Juan, could make everyone forget about Chivu all together within the next 2 years.
born in: Crotone
born on: February 16 1982
height: 177 cm (5'10)
weight: 73 kg
This one has been the worst secret of the transfer market over the last week or two. Modesto is in Rome on another co-ownership (or will be), this time for around €2.25m, which is a fairly significant €1.5m drop off his original full pricetag of €6m. Still, everybody knew this was coming if Chivu moved, and it's a good move, especially considering Spalletti feels like he will be a great boon to his system, which we all trust him on.
Francesco will slot in behind Max Tonetto, and will probably work himself into more of a platoon situation as the season progresses. I've heard rumblings that he can also play the wing if asked, but I'm not sure how adaptable he will be to the Spalletti wing. Anyway, the fullbacks in Spalleti's systems get up far enough into The Roman Clusterfuck that his positioning can even be considered negotiable now and again. How many times do you remember any of the fullbacks parking themselves in a lounge chair in the 18 yard box last season. And Tonetto was taking over the entire left flank of the pitch at times. If he can adequately get back to fulfill his defensive duties, he can do whatever the hell he wants offensively.
Festivus For The Restivus:
I) Nearly every media market is now running with the idea that the Chivu sale means the inevitable acquisition of Cicinho, with or without Real picking up Dani Alves or a similar RB. Bernd Schuster's recent comment saying Sergio "HAB" Ramos' talents dictated he must play on the right probably had something to do with that. It'll take awhile for this to play out, but it's becoming more likely Cici finds his way to the Olimpico. Again. He's the new Modesto. And the old Modesto.
II) One of those names continually tied with Cicinho has been Jeremy Mathieu of Toulouse, and whaddya know? He's back again. Kinda. Reports state Daniele Prade called up whoever is running the show up in France and asked about him, and was met with a firm pricetag of €7.5m, which is actually relatively fair. I'd assume this was one of those "we're going to call just to see what's going on but we're not really interested, it's just kind of a feeler offer to see if we can get him for a Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger and a pack of Skittles." Kind of like every single phone call Prade is fielding about Samuel Kuffour.
As much as I'd love to see Mathieu in Rome next year, outside of the CL, I don't see it happening unless something strange happens. He could play RB, but he's a vastly different player than Cicinho, and considering Spalletti's interests in RW/RBs thus far (Faubert, Mesto), it seems he wants someone a little bit more wing and offense oriented. Of course I'm probably wrong and he'll be announced as Roma's future RW at a press conference in a few days.
Food for thought: Mathieu's contract with Toulouse has one year to run (I'm pretty sure), and he has stated in the past he would walk to Rome sight unseen to play at the Olimpico. I'm going to go ahead and predict he signs a pre-contract agreement with Roma in the spring.
III) Juan arrived in Rome yesterday, fresh off a 10 day break post Copa America. Not much to say other than one thing. I vote that they bench Doni and put Juan in net. Look at the size of those fricken mitts. He's got a tennis racket for hands. Juan's now got the title of "Roma's official bitchslapper." Becali brothers are first.
IV) Christian Panucci had a nice interview yesterday where he said diplomatically that Chivu is replaceable and he thinks Giuly will thrive in Rome. My favorite was this though:
“I’m nearly 35 and it’s right for the club to look for my replacement as we have to play 50 or 60 games and I can’t guarantee I’ll play them all.”
So he means to say he's actually thinking about playing them all, but he's not sure if he'll be able to? Is he planning on developing a Lindsay Lohan like cocaine addiction? Does he wake up and snort lines of Viagra? Maybe his blood is straight Red Bull? If he plays 50, he deserves the Ballon D'Or, the Nobel Prize and Country Music Television Lifetime Achievement Award. For whatever. And he will probably be snatched back up by Milan at the end of the year. Because you aren't eligible for Rossoneri backline duties unless your diet consists of Ensure and mashed peas. The contract also comes with a free lithograph of Maldini and a colostomy bag.
V) Much to the dismay of many Roma fans, Graziano Pelle (that guy), has decided to sign with European giants AZ Alkmaar. Wait, what? AZ Alkmaar is the best team he could get? Apparently Lecce didn't get any offers from Serie A teams so he was offloaded to the Eredivisie. Not a single fricken Serie A team could find a spot for the new Luca Toni? I'm baffled. I'm befuddled. I'm flabbergasted. This is almost as confusing as the day I found out Orlando Bloom is straight.
* - I think that was Barry from Life with Mikey going crazy in that video. In fact, I'm sure of it.
VII) Also in the realm of news that may or may not directly impact Roma, Maurizio Zamparini has offered up Mark Bresciano, Leandro Rinaudo and €6m for Alessandro Rosina. If Roma is going to take care of that whole buy up Rosinaldo now and loan him to Torino for next year they'd better get on it ASAP. (Ok I made that up, but it works)
VIII) Oh yeah, and Old Whiskey Nose has ruled out a Serie A return for Giuseppe Rossi. Basically, if you're a Roma fan with a ridiculous dream you knew was never going to happen, you just had it crushed anyway. Kind of like Franck Ribery's modeling career.
I'll take a one way ticket to hell, thanks.
IX) This is in no way a shameless self-promotion, but you absolutely must see this advertisement. Especially for Kubrick fans. Which should be everyone who has ever seen a movie, but that's neither here nor there. Nor here.
X) I'm not trying to get any hopes up, but there is reportedly a surprise signing to be announced tonight as a part of the festivities. There are supposed to be two, one obviously being Modesto, but the other isn't Andreolli. I'm very intrigued. But like I said, don't get your hopes up, could be rumors.
I actually wrote a little bit of a post on this but never ended up publishing it. Remember back when Roma was going after Fred? He was going to cost €15m and the deal was set financially, only Spalletti didn't want that type of investment riding the pine (Spalletti, meet Mirko - Mirko, meet Spalletti). And this was before Chivu had turned down his offer and when buying up Vucinic, Pizarro and Juan was a foregone conclusion. Which makes me think, have they earmarked a significant amount of money for someone else? Did they just end up pocketing that €15m? Or is at least a large part of it still in play? Obviously a far-fetched and flawed theory, but maybe it plays into the "mystery player" who will supposedly be unveiled tonight. Food for thought.
No, I don't like tossing out ridiculous theories that have your minds wandering only to be squashed later. Why do you ask?
Strangers waiting, up and down the boulevard
Their shadows searching in the night
Streetlight people, living just to find emotion
Hiding, somewhere in the night
AS Roma 2007-08