There's news, there's good news, and then there's deliriously good news. This is the latter. King Alberto, once again, has declared: Rome for life. And this time he's looking to back it up with a contract extension. Which means Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United, Barcelona, Real Madrid and Inter can go look elsewhere for a phenom to build their midfields around. The latest legend off the Roman assembly line is here for life. The end.
"I have not had any contact with anyone, nor have I talked about money with Roma. I want to sign a new contract. My dream is to remain with the Giallorossi throughout my career. But now my priority is to return to play."
Rumor has it that new contract will be worth roughly 2m per annum. A contract worth every single euro, I say.
The Present One
For me, and I'm assuming most, this one came completely out of left field, especially after the declaration by Mrs. Totti that Francesco would be hanging up his golden booties in 2010.
Rumor has it that within the next month Jesus Totti will be renewing for another 2 years, until 2012, and taking a pay cut in the process. As Martha alluded to, after the shenanigans of The Great Del Piero, Totti just proves once again he's a cut, or two, above.
Honestly, this news made me near giddy. Two more years of The Legend? Yes, please.
And also, I found this picture awhile back and figure now is a good time to share. Francesco would like to say something about that Golden Ball snub. A picture is worth a thousand votes:
And I suppose we can expect to hear any day now Daniele De Rossi is getting ready to obliterate the cap.
(Yes, of course, there are Three Kings in Rome, but only two had pertinent info for the post. I'm hoping DDR isn't feeling left out of that picture.)
Doni: Not going anywhere. Not now. We can talk in the summer, but he's here at least through the spring. The end.
* - Milan obviously has scouts who only watch Brazil and Brazilian NT games, because while Dida may suck bad, Doni isn't exactly providing the type of stability they need at that position. You know, if you added a Down Syndrome baboon and Silvio's bank account you should have a team with 87 straight Serie A titles. Who does their scouting? Ray Charles? Come on people.
Matteo Ferrari: The day has passed when we thought his contract decision was going to be final. (This happened with Chivu, what, 9,615 times?) I can't imagine they'll let him get to the summer, when Prem clubs will start flashing their asses and poundage in his face, trying to entice him towards the slightly retarded, less technical cousin that is the Prem. Or Fiorentina/Juve will start whispering promises of more playing time into his vulnerable little ears.
From a logic standpoint, I'd say that he'll either be sold or extended by January 31st. But we all know the word "logic" has never entered Rosella's lexicon. So I expect he'll be neither sold nor extended, and we'll watching him go unsigned throughout the summer, when he'll eventually leave for another club on a free.
What I do expect, however, is to see a lot of CBs linked, potentially another be bought (i.e. that Icelandic kid whose name I have no prayer of remembering for the rest of my life - even if he someday replaces Philou in the XI) and maybe even a versatile vice-Tonetto come in as a floating replacement. And yes, I've given up all hope for Marco Andreolli at this point.
Cicinho: Put him in the same boat as Doni, just increase the likelihood that he gets moved in the summer. Unless, of course, some miracle happens where he becomes a lockdown defender and turns into the greatest fullback in the history of ever. Prompting the club to have to hand out Depends on the way into the stadium as the Giallorossi faithful pee themselves in delight as he marauds gracefully down that right hand flank and takes the Golden Boot away from Jesus Totti.
(I put him in my All-Benched XI for the homepage. I hope he's proud.)
Ahmed Barusso: It makes sense to loan him. It also doesn't make sense to loan him. Currently speaking, there are only 4 healthy CMs who can cover the DM slot. We have absolutely no clue where King Alberto is at the moment, and knowing the nature of his injury and the fact that the Roma injury staff takes a day and a half to diagnose a 24 hour flu, I'm just not all that convinced Roma doesn't need some serious backups in that positions. What happens if - knocking on wood profusely - DDR goes down for an extended period against Atalanta? Besides kissing the season goodbye, we're looking at a healthy duo of David Pizarro and Matteo Brighi. Not that Ahmed is ideal, but he's at least a defensive minded player. Alright, I've sufficiently depressed myself. We're moving on.
(I say loan him, and if a disaster occurs, play Lulu Gulu at DM and go for the first draft pick in next year's draft. Or at least a lottery pick.)
* - I'm guessing he gets loaned. I'll go 60/40.
Adrian Pit: I'll be shocked if he isn't loaned. Absolutely shocked. I was also shocked when he wasn't loaned out in the summer. You know what this means? I know nothing.
Mancini: I'll keep this very simple for right now: I really, really don't think he's going anywhere in January. Considering the league is becoming an uphill battle, that whole Champions League eligibility thing is huge and there aren't too many wingers of his caliber sitting around, ready for a big club, who aren't cup tied. Summer I'm thinking he leaves. But not now.
Gianluca Curci: This is almost as confusing as the Amantino thing. At one point during the summer he'd refused to be loaned, only to renege. But by then it was too late, because Spalletti didn't have enough time to get someone to be ready in time. And I think this was in late July. If so, I doubt Spalletti thinks anybody will be ready, umm, now. Unless he's comfortable with J. Serg or Zotti. I'm not. I'll bet he stays and I'll bet we'll all spend the next 5 months bitching about how he should've been loaned out.
Samuel Kuffour: Please. For the love of god. Somebody take him. Anybody. He's like that old smelly couch that nobody will take, but you just can't bring yourself to throw out because it's got to be worth a little something, right? (No.)
Do you suppose, after Spinelli's comments about his poor work ethic, he just shows up to training 60 pounds overweight with a Big Mac and Cheeto stains all over his mouth? Or drunk? Or both? (Which would make him Cassano, Spanish edition.) Because that's what I'd do, and then show up for a trial in the summer with another club in pristine shape ready to stick it to the club for not playing me.
Mauro Esposito: I'm not sure if anything can happen regarding co-ownerships in the January window (I'm guessing no), but if it can, I wouldn't be shocked in the least if the club buys up a big name winger and Mauro gets sent back to Sardinia to get rolled up by Pasquale Foggia's friends. Or Massimo Cellino.
* - What a slow few days. More rumors and stuff tomorrow, but I'm half-assing the winter break just like the rest of the media. Or at least until the juiciest rumors come flying in fast and furious.