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Saba's Night Moves: The Finale

They're going to clean, polish and re-wrap Marco to pretend that he's new. That's where things are at right now.

Gabriele Maltinti

Update 2300 CET - Market Closed: All remains the same. No changes of any note to report, which means the market closed with the purchase of Adem Ljajic and Marco Borriello's Contract stays in Rome. And perhaps most surprisingly, Marquinho stays in Rome despite the interest of multiple clubs and his low valuation.

Everybody take a Roma break and enjoy caring about the club 90 minutes a week again. I can't handle another Saba Summer.

Update 2210 CET: No Italian striker musical chair. Roma may or may not have purchased some dude from Estonia (not buying that for a second until I see the contract and purchase his shirt from the official store). Borriello's agent is eating dinner with Sabatini. No other rumors circulating. It appears as though this was all a lot of hot air.

Market closes at 2300 CET.

Update 2200 CET: Rumor is beginning to circle in various places that Roma has purchased Allan Kimbaloula from some Estonian club. (How legit does that site look, huh?) Transfermarkt has his value at a whopping 100k (less than most Primavera players - Dodo is a solid 700k, for comparison). There has to be more to this - non-EU spot? Hoax? - or this is the mother of all desperation buys to fill space. (He's a midfielder, so Marquinho's spot?)

This shit is happening: EPL highlights. (Estonian Premier League)

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Look at that pitch. Brilliant.

The market closes in one hour, for the record.

Update 2140 CET: So, umm...yeah. "Dominic Fifield confirms that Ba is staying at Chelsea - which increases the chances of Romelu Lukaku joining Everton on Loan, which would obviously be quite the deal for the Merseyside club." (There are also rumors he's having his Arsenal medical. Either way, it's an Italian or nothin' it appears.) Meanwhile, Antonio Conte has reportedly quashed the Quagliarella exit in all forms.

Meet your September 3rd Roma, same as your September 1st Roma.

Update 2120 CET: All's quiet. Which means, as the agent of Fabio and Gila (which helps things immeasurably) has said, things will go down to the wire but it's indeed complicated. Well no kidding.

Update 2040 CET: There are rumors now that Fabio would prefer...Lazio. This falls on the heels of the news that Roma could not agree personal terms. Money talks. It talks colors, too. In other news, it's now being reported that Fabio Quagliarella has various ven...damnit. Can't do that more now that we actually have public exposure.

The three-way has reportedly collapsed, which is fine. Someone would deserve a Nobel Prize for maneuvering the contracts of three strikers with double-digit Azzurri caps.

Update 2000 CET: Fabio Qualgliarella has reportedly chosen Roma... If true, he just bought himself more leash than a fucking puppy farm. Choosing Roma over Lazio to join the club? Drinks are on the city, my friend. And for the record, a few years back, Fabio's nickname was coined (one of my rare finer moments), so it's already in-house: Mr. Bullshit Goal. For reasoning, see the video down the page. (Still awaiting an agreement on personal terms, which appears to be the stumbling block.)

Someone get me DiMarzio's digits. I have some questions.

3h until the window closes. We're now officially in The Saba Zone.

Update 1945 CET: Valerio Verre is officially on loan to Palermo. The other deals are still in the works, by which I mean The Great Not-Great Italian Strikers Carousel of 2013 has yet to begin its music.

Or it may never: Fabio Quagliarella will reportedly choose between Roma and Lazio, LOLazio having seen their Yilmaz deal fall through because they're @#$%ing Lazio.

There's only one right move here, Fabio. Only one...

(And the only reason to desire him over Borriello at this point is he fits into the system Rudi has unleashed in the opening two weeks infinitely better than Marco. A more modern striker.)


Update 3:18a CET: Walter Sabatini reportedly spent the evening with Fabio Quagliarella's peeps. Of all the names linked up top, Mr. Bullshit Goals ticks the most boxes: versatile forward, Serie A experience, unquestioned goalscoring ability, and far more mobility than, say, Gilardino, which is appearing necessary in this system which is so fluid up high. Plus he starred in this video, which might be the most important part due to its legendary status. That year was ridiculous.

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Update 8:00a CET: The Quagliarella deal looks most likely, with Marquinho heading the other way. A bit of a back-scratch going on there. Which leaves one problem: midfield depth. Florenzi would appear to be closer to a winger under Rudi - he needs to find a way to get DDR, Stroot, Pjanic and Florenzi on the pitch -- which would leave Michael Bradley as midfield backup. And Rodrigo Taddei. Which doesn't sound like nearly enough considering neither of them is ideal in certain spaces in the midfield. (Who wants Michael sitting vice-Miralem? Anyone?)

Update 1800 CET: Nothing big happened throughout the night on this side of the world. A Burdisso and Zaccardo swap was discussed, seemingly shot down. The rotating Quags-Borriello-Gilardino chairs appear to still be in play - there's a meeting with Marco's people shortly - and there are rumblings of a "derby with Lazio for Bergessio". Well that's a derby Roma wants to lose - at least at the prices being quoted the last few weeks.

Coming down to the wire for Walter. Just how he likes it. He must smell like lung cancer by now too.


The match earlier today was fabulous. Wonderful. It was a good, emphatic win against a club which bested Milan a week earlier and has shouts of "Coco who?" ringing throughout Rome at the moment. Adem, we love you but you're old hat now: it's Saba time. We'll get to Hellas on earth when we get there. Right now, there are more important fishies to fry. The mercato deadline is in roughly twenty-four hours and that means lots of cigarettes and lots of moves, especially since we know there are a few moves Walter Sabatini wants to make. Namely:

Marco Borriello: They want his wages gone. If the first two matches are any indication, Rudi doesn't care for a true #9. Prima punta? Sod off. Obviously they'll want a forward of sorts but the type of names they've been linked to indicate the desire for someone who's got the agility and versatility to rotate spots across the front three of that tridente, meaning we may see something like Adem Ljajic, CF in the near future - but only in name. Current names are Gila (obviously more of a like-for-like with Borri), Fabio Quagliarella (eh), Dario Cvitanich (ugh), Abel Hernandez (ha), and Demba Ba (ba).

Defense: They likely want Nico Burdisso's contract gone. They've also been linked with a more solid number 3/2b centerback in the form of Davide Astori who, surprise surprise, was left on the bench by Cagliari today. Cellino supposedly turned down the bid by Roma of 7.5m for co-ownerships (aka halfsies), but this is Italy. Words are words.

There have been a number of centerbacks linked in the last week-plus. Expect something - perhaps something big - to happen here. Remember, no one ever dreamed of Miralem Pjanic (bless you, Lyon) and Roma being muttered in the same sentence before deadline day in 2011.

Midfield: Marquinho is wanted by Inter and Juventus. This would, frankly, be an idiotic move. The fee they'd be getting in return is hardly worth sacrificing a guy who can do the one thing this system clearly needs: make runs from the midfield into the six. It makes no sense. Expect him to move just because Walter needs to do something.

Loans: Alessio Romagnoli's gotta go. He'll see little playing time - this isn't Zeman anymore - and he needs the pitch minutes. Valerio Verre is reportedly close to Palermo. Meanwhile, Gianluca Caprari will reportedly stay in Rome - per his agent. Which is only surprising in that he got little love during the preseason, with Rudi favoring Junior Tallo and not this strikerless nonsense they've got going.

Dark Horses: Bids coming in for Michael Bradley and Vasilis Torosidis. Which may or may not be rebuffed harshly.

Oh, and a bit of news: it appears the rebirth of Daniele De Rossi may not be down to Rudi Garcia but due to the impending birth of his daughter. After the utter insanity of his personal life for a few years, this must be a double blessing. It's also kept DDR in Rome this summer. Kid's not even born yet and she's already a Roma legend.

Updates to come.