Now that Alexandre Pato has all but officially signed away his puberty to Milan, it seems things have become a bit too straight forward for the Italian media. Introducing the much ballyhooed "Mister X," formerly drawing significant interest from Silvio Berlusconi, Uncle Fester and their band of merry senior citizens. Not much is known about this Mr. X other than he is currently plying his trade in France and that he is being considered the backup option to some guy named Cicinho, who may or may not have been linked to Roma at some point recently.
Obviously my mind goes directly to Jeremy Mathieu of Toulouse, but he is likely better suited to the left flank than the right; and if said player is actually the backup plan for Cicinho, then they will predominantly be a RB. Not to mention that whole "give us a call after August 29th" rushed attitude from Toulouse. Normally I'd say the relative pricey valuation as well, but according to Madrid's pricetag for Cici, Mathieu may actually be a bargain. But for the sake of it, a few other options:
Anthony Reveillere (Lyon): His agent confirmed there has been interest, but that was before he signed a contract extension in May. Also not likely Jean-Michel Aulas will let him go for anything less than the GDP of Bulgaria.
Francois Clerc (Lyon): The more probable of the two Lyon backs in my not-so-esteemed estimation, it's still questionable whether or not he'll want to leave Stade Gerland, aka France's training ground. And again, that whole dealing with JMA issue comes into play. Any smart and fiscally responsible owner will avoid working with Lyon at all costs for this simple fact, but when has Rosella ever been considered MENSA material?
Florian Marange (Bordeaux): See below.
Taye Taiwo (Marseille): Hey, it might be a pipe dream, but it was confirmed by his agent earlier in the mercato that Roma is interested, so it's not totally impossible. Better suited to the left, but with a player of his caliber and talent, one can't afford to nitpick.
More names will assuredly pop up soon, especially if Raymond Domenech starts berating some fullback and says he now has little to no chance of making Les Bleus because he sucks. Which is code for, "he boinked Ray Ray's wife, aka the initiation ritual for the French national team."
Your Daily Cicinho Update:
Reports are hot and heavy that Royston Drenthe is imminent to Madrid - again - which would free Cicinho to move to Roma. The powers-that-be want to introduce a player before selling off Cici in order to "warm up" the fans in the event of a massive backlash due to the sale of a player who hasn't played all that much in the last two years. Considering Bernd Schuster was keen on slotting Cicinho out left, Drenthe's position, it makes sense that Royston is coming in to replace Cici, not to mention add flair to the hair status of the club. If the price is decent, meaning €10m or under, this deal should be done soon. Roma has offered up a one year loan with a buyout option of €8m, and that's not going to get it done; but we know Rosella is willing to grossly over pay for one of The Grand Imperial Poobah's vaunted man crushes (see: David Pizarro). They'll scrape up the money some how. Even if Rosella has to cut back on the tanning sessions and Daniele Prade has to start prostituting himself.
I realized that in a rumor to video ratio, Cicinho is seriously struggling. Therefore, your daily Cicinho video:
Stuff You May or May Not Find Interesting:
I) Fiorentina, along with the rest of Europe, is interested in Alberto Aquilani. Some of the Viola fans should send Pantaleo Corvino a memo and let him know he's wasting his time. Aquilani is Giallorosso for life.
II) Today's big news story regarding Francesco Modesto is this: Roma wants co-ownership, Reggina wants a full sale. I just don't know what to say anymore. You'd think he'd be the second coming of Paolo Maldini for all this hassle.
III) Roma has reportedly made an offer for Florian Marange, the left back out of Bordeaux, of a loan plus option to buy after the season. Which apparently somewhat insulted Bordeaux (not exactly known for their phenomenal player valuation). Now there are reports he's close to signing an extension and isn't exactly jumping at the opportunity to leave Bordeaux at the moment. Fine by me, word of mouth says he isn't good enough anyway. And if you're French, you'd better be damn good for me to want you in Rome. Damn good.
IV) There is now a 50/50 chance Matteo Brighi moves to Napoli after last week being considered an integral part of the squad and being told he was not for sale.
Why do you build me up (Build me up)
Buttercup baby just to
Let me down (Let me down)
And mess me around
And then worst of all (Worst of all)
You never call baby
When you say you will (Say you will)
But I love you still
I need you (I need you)
More than anyone darlin'
You know that I have from the start
He'll stick around, I'm sure of it. If not, he may turn into Steve Buschemi in Billy Madison and start mowing down the management one by one. And I'm not sure too many fans would be unhappy with that sort of development.
VI) You can start sleeping a little easier throughout the night, as it looks like Adrian Pit (Pronounced 'Piz') will be heading out on loan to Bari. One would guess Keivan Zarineh is next. Of course I also thought Lindsay Lohan was destined for an Oscar one day. So what the hell do I know.
VII) The Roma Offside Fantasy League is up and running over at Yahoo:
League Name: Roma Offside League (ID# 692)
password: spalletti (lower-case s)
I think I'm the Aquilaninho's or something - signed up to see what it was like then got locked in. Not exactly the best of names (or grammatically correct). And if you spend 25pts out of your 100pt budget on Antonio Di Natale you will be irrevocably booted from the league immediately.
Directions for the non-Italian speakers. Scratch that, Italian speakers too - if only for making sure to choose the Roma fan group at question #6. This league is a subdivision of that. The directions:
• Click Entra/Registrati in the center
• Agree to Yahoo's terms, conditions and a free colonoscopy performed by Cristiano Ronaldo & his little buddy (Si, accetto)
• On the next screen, at #1 fill in your team name, at #4 choose if you would like people to see your e-mail, at #5 it's asking you if you'd like Viagra spam, and at #6 choose Roma from the drop down list, click 'Continua'
• 'Crea Squadra'
• Next page click on the middle option, 'Iscriviti a un gruppo' to join the private group
• ID # gruppo is 692 and password is spalletti 'no capitalization'
Just ask if you have any questions.
* - GHD Final Leg 3 in a quick minute.