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2589564493.jpgThe Francesco Modesto Watch:

The loss to Juventus has reportedly thrown the management into a frenzy and instead of passively sitting on their ass and waiting for the offer of a lifetime to come via the Tooth Fairy, they've gotten somewhat proactive about this whole "filling out the roster" thing. Francesco Modesto is back in the fold, and negotiations are reportedly close to an agreement. Which is Italian media code for, "they may or may not have called each other on the phone and/or sent a birthday card."

The reports have it pegged that Roma is still interested in the co-ownership/no interest for 12 months! program, which Reggina is none too thrilled about. The lifeline here is the possible availability of Aleandro Rosi or Matteo Brighi by loan, assisting the price which Roma deems a tad too high. I suppose this is good news that a possible solution is close to being reached, but we've been hearing this since 3 before Il Capitano won last year's Golden Boot. Sign the contract in blood and I'll believe it. Until then, nothing new.

Your Daily Cicinho Update:

Nothing official, and that "matter of hours" has now turned into a "matter of days." The good news is Madrid has reportedly dropped their valuation of Cicinho a skosh - to a respectable €8-10m. Presumably due to the backlash from their €27m purchase of Wesley Sneijder, showing them how ridiculously way off base they are when it comes to determining prices (as if €30m for Pepe wasn't enough). If the rumors are true (how dare they not be?), Rosella is willing to fork over €7m straight cash today for Cici, which is not all that far off from €8m - seriously, trust me on this one, I'm an expert.

The brand spankin' fresh news is that Real Madrid wants to use him in a deal to secure Dani Alves; but this happened last summer and Cici turned down Sevilla, killing the deal and making him public enemy #1 amongst Madrid's management. Especially after shredding his knee and the price for Dani nearly tripling as opposed to last summer; actually, I'm surprised Mijatovic hasn't taken Cici out back Old Yeller style yet. Basically, he wrote them a letter like this:

To Whom It May Concern:

I'm going to nix the deal for the Brazilian RB you really want, then stick my knee in a wood chipper about 12 minutes after the season starts and force Alves' price to go up about 30m. Then I'm going to get pissed when you play me on the left, even though I'm left footed, and demand a transfer so that we can see other people. But only to one club. A cheap club. Run by a woman who will only offer to pay €10 for a €20 bank note. I've informed my divorce lawyer, Ernesto Bronzetti, to make this as amicable and smooth as possible. But if you do not give me what's mine, I will absolutely clean you out. I'll stick around just so you have no choice but to play me and I'll suck. I'll suck real bad. Then my price will drop and you'll have no choice to send me where I want. Smooches.

Yours always,

Cicinho XOXOXO

P.S. If anybody asks, I broke up with you. If I hear you've said otherwise, I'll tell everybody about your "little" problem. And I faked it. Every time.

Somehow the deal will get done. I trust ole Bronzy balls. I'm going to call tomorrow as the official day. Maybe Mijatovic will throw in a free romp for old time's sake with Franco Baldini if Rosella stumps up the appropriate funds. That could be the clincher.

Anybody against offering up Daniele Prade's job to Ernesto Bronzetti next year? Didn't think so.

The Fluff:

I)
So the premier acquisition of the summer, Juan, will likely see the next 2-4 weeks on the pine due to an aggravated thigh muscle (which sounds much better than a "fatigued right groin"). Never good news, but if somebody's going to get hurt, I'd rather it be before the Super Coppa match-up than before the 7 week onslaught in the second half of the season or a meaningful Champions League game.

* - Yes, as much as I appear to have a man crush on Cicinho, Juan is the premier acquisition of the summer; and at €6.3m, complete thievery. Anybody check if Rudi is still on the payroll?

II)
Which begs the obvious question, who starts during the Super? Matteo Ferrari is almost definitely out, which leaves Roma with Chritian Panucci, Marco Andreolli and Samuel Kuffour.

Andreolli: My first choice, for the simple fact that he's a highly talented kid and the highest on the depth chart (and I love highly talented youngsters - think I might have a touch of ArseneWengeritis). But he hasn't been playing and he doesn't have all that much experience in Serie A to begin with. Plus, I'm sure the guys over at Inter figured out a few of his weaknesses the last couple years in training - so it could get ugly. I'd pass him over.

Panucci:
Panucci manning Zlatan, Suazo and Crespo? Christ almighty. Panucci Overlaps all day everyday for me.

Kuffour:
He may not be the best of choices, but I'm going to have to go with Samuel here. He's strong, physical and very talented at one point in his career, so he certainly can be somewhat effective. But the main factor here is he can punch somebody in the face, get suspended for the year and be of no loss to Roma. My first choice for punchee is Luis-sh Fee-goh. Second choice is Moratti. And if Sammy flies into the stands, vaults himself into the owner's box and starts pummeling Moratti I will get a big tattoo of his mug on my left ass cheek. The right is reserved for the day science advances far enough that Totti & De Rossi's DNA can be fused to conceive a Super Giallorosso (stop drooling).

Doesn't matter what I think though. Panucci will be starting beside Mexes. It's not ideal, but the Super doesn't really matter all that much to me so it's fine.

III)
Anybody missing Gilberto Martinez or Rodrigo Defendi?

Nahhhhh.

IV) Some cat named Daniele De Rossi will return in time to play in the Super Coppa. You can put the defibrillators away now.

V) Roma has decided to wake up and improve their contract offer to Matteo Ferrari, and it's now close to an agreement. The media is claiming this is due to Sven Goran Eriksson's infatuation with Italians at the moment (who could blame him after years of coaching the Three Lions?), but I'm of the belief that after the Juve game The Grand Imperial Poobah went into Rosella's office and threw a tantrum. Demanding some type of reinforcements, including some of his own players. Damnit.

VI) In honor of one of Roma's most underappreciated players, a video of spectacular moments. Even if he is one ugly sumnabitch.