Amantino's exit reminds me of the overused Hollywood script where two best friends grow up together, almost become defined by each other, but are forced to look their separate ways when it comes time to leave for college. One friend is your run of the mill person who will end up going to a run of the mill college and lead a run of the mill life, but still his own life. The other friend is very bright and destined for great things. They know the only way forward is to diverge, or else they'll lose all sense of individuality. There is no choice, and for each to grow and obtain their potential, they must go alone. And that's what has happened here.
So I think on some level most will miss Mancini. Yes, he was incessantly frustrating and he never really obtained the level of adoration needed to shoo his shenanigans underneath the rug - and may all future Giallorossi add number XI to their commandments: Thou shall not feud with The Totti - but he was still a wildly skilled player who loved Rome and Roma. But most importantly: He's not Chivu.
This wasn't about the money. In fact, the contract he signed with Inter is roughly the same he would've netted with the Giallorossi. One similarity with Chivu last year is that his extension talks appear in hindsight to be more of a smokescreen than anything. The suits had lined up Juan as a replacement last year before the departure of Crystal, hence the "take it or leave it" contract offer where they hoped Chivu would leave it, and watched Mirko kick the bejesus out of Amantino, leaving Mancini's battered body on the pine while he made a lighting fast ascension to Roman legend. In effect, Amantino's time had simply come and he was now more valuable as a transfer fee than player. So Prade picked up the shotgun and took him out back...to Inter, where Roman rejects go.
What's most unfortunate is that this didn't happen last summer, and for that I blame Mirko. Had he not been injured before/during his loan season, Amantino probably would've hit the market last summer and commanded 20m+, not the 14.5m he eventually won Roma - somehow. But what's worse is that's only half of it. Most of the season Mancini's dedication and ability to care was seriously in question. He was lazy and indifferent on the pitch, and seemed whiny and depressed off of it. The fact that we were making pregame predictions on whether or not he'd give a shit pretty much says it all. And that's the worst half: If Mancini had given a shit, Roma would've won the scudetto. Well, either that or refs without fat wallets filled with oil stained lira.
So with that, buh-bye. The good times were good, but those days are gone. Time to move on, and the future is now the present. Welcome to the Mirko Vucinic Era.
(And I still can't believe Prade bilked Inter into paying close to 15m for a backup winger after that season.)
STD Loving Strikers
I hadn't really been exposed to much Marco Borriello off the pitch before the Euro tournament this summer, and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by what I was hearing. In interviews he came off as a genuinely likable, down to earth guy whose reputation has been defined by one stupid decision which is becoming more understandable by the day. Plus he's pretty good when not wearing azzuro...or rossonero. (Even Zarineh could've bagged that sitter against Belgium. Imagine if he knocks that in? Luca Toni might have been ushered to the pine and Donadoni might have kept his job.........I love you, Marco.)
And now, with Milan pursuing any and every overpriced striker they can possibly get their hands on, his status is up in the air again. Emmanuel Adebayor could become the most overpriced player in calcio history....or they might do the smart thing and pick up a portly Ronaldinho for half the price while swapping their bwin sponsorship for Entemann's, which can do nothing but thrive with Frank Lampard reportedly heading towards the other half of Milan. (Safe to say Milanese all you can eat superbuffet's are positively giddy in anticipation right now.)
Then there's Sheva, who might end up back at the San Siro after learning you should never - never ever - listen to your wife/significant other. (Write that down.) With the most expensive Proactiv ad of all time and Pippo already in tow, the Christmas tree is looking mighty crowded.
Now Marco's agent is saying Borriello would welcome a Roma move, thus we can fire up that old rumor again. A rumor that is very, very realistic considering the good relationship between the two clubs. And to be honest, I'd take Borriello over anyone but Gomez right about now, because he does have an immense skill set to go along with his Serie A experience and physical stature. Huntelaar is still unproven outside of the defensively deficient Eredivisie and how long he'd take to settle is a legitimate question, Baptista is good but not great and Mutu will always be a slimy little prick (who is now seemingly off the market anyway).
Sometimes strikers just take a bit longer to get that final touch (hello, Amauri) and it's impossible to argue he doesn't have the skills. Plus he's Italian. We shall see.
I) According to Mutu's agent, he's agreed to renew with Fiorentina. Always a long shot, more than fine by me. The club shall remain untainted.
II) Toulouse is interested in Edgar "Burritos" Alvarez.
III) Genoa wants Alessio Cerci, who will only be sent out on loan, if that...but Alessio seems to think he's already ready for Roma, despite the knee injury which will keep him out til October.
Ready? Probably not, being only 20, oft injured and never having played above Serie B, but he was incredibly impressive this year. I can think of worse ideas than allowing Alessio to hang around until January.
IV) Royston Drenthe? If he goes on loan, it won't be to Roma because he'd be nothing more than a backup and Real probably wants him to get some playing time. And why the hell would Roma pay his price right now with Vucinic and left back loaded? No chance. Damn Spanish media.
V) On a business note, I'll be off for the next week on a vacation so necessary it can't even be considered a vacation. Vin of serieamerica(-is-asleep) will be taking over, and I'll be back just in time for ritiro on the 21st, hopefully recharged and back on a regular schedule.