For the sake of brevity, and simply because we all remember what just happened, we'll dispense with the formal review of the fourth quarter of 2013. While Roma wasn't quite as surgical in the waning months of 2013, they remain undefeated and they remain in second place. There were a few highlights, in terms of articles and analyses, so we'll throw those up in the sidebar.
Instead of looking back at the not too distant past, let's kick off 2014 with some rumors and contract extensions...
We start off 2014 with a bit of good news, the possibility of Miralem Pjanic putting pen to paper on a three year contract extension. And, really, calling this a bit of good news is a dramatic understatement. Pjanic is transforming himself into one of the games most dynamic attacking midfielders, so that the world's usual suitors have been sniffing around the young Bosnian was really no surprise. But with the new deal reportedly keeping Pjanic in Roma through 2019 at €3.2m (net wages), the Red Devils of the world should be kept at bay for a few more years.
He may be a lifer just yet.
Must Reads From Fall 2013
If you're curious as to why the whole of Rome has been on pins and needles waiting for Miralem Pjanic to sign an extension, come have a look at the rise of Miralem Pjanic.
Must Reads From Fall 2013
I think I'm going overboard with alliteration, feel free to internet slap me.
Anyway, teams with visions of trebles dancing through their heads need depth in all areas, so the appeal of Javier Pastore is obvious. Despite his falling out of favor in Paris, El Flaco is still a hell of a player, which we discussed several weeks back.
The real twist to this story is the type of transfer involved. Coming from Palermo at a €42m clip, the chances that PSG recoup a portion of that were always slim, but to see him offered on a sixth month loan is a bit surprising. From the PSG perspective, I'm sure the hope is that Pastore's six months abroad will be sufficient to boost his market value, but does Roma offer the best chance for this recuperation?
Furthermore, with no option to buy at the end of the deal, what's the benefit to Roma on this one? Tuck this one way in the furthest recesses of your heart, cus it probably ain't happening.
For a player as young as injured as 17-year-old Cortiba left back Abner, he certainly isn't lacking in suitors. At the cost of €5m, Roma appear to have beaten Liverpool and Manchester City to the punch and might see the young Brazilian arrive as soon as January, though he's still several months away from, you know, playing and stuff.
There is literally no telling what this kid will become, but €5m for a 17-year-old isn't exactly a bargain. Is he the second coming of Roberto Carlos, or simply an even younger and less experienced Dodo?
If you allow Google to do the work for you on this one, you'll find a roughly translated look at Roma's shopping list for January. Goalkeeper will most likely stay the same, while the defense may see some marginal additions, but the real shakeup may be in the midfield, in terms of cover for the starters, at least.
Michael Bradley and Marquinho may make way for Radja Nainggolan, while in the attack, Marco Borriello and Gianluca Caprari, both struggling to find minutes, could find themselves in the most disparate of locales, The Premiership and Serie B, respectively.
Roma seldom goes big in January, 2014 may be no different.
I must say that the biggest advantage that Juve may have is that they have been living together longer, they have developed this method with their coach that makes Juve the team to beat. In Italy they are almost unbeatable because the Italian system is aimed at ensuring that Juve will be the strongest, but I do not refer only to negative things, but to the fact that opponents, even before the game, have a fearful approach....Instead in Europe teams have no biases. We will try with all our strength to create difficulties for Juve, then we’ll see who was better.
This has nothing to do with transfers, of course, but you have to respect MDS for taking a veiled shot at both Juventus and the league as a whole. Juventus doesn't get special treatment, do they? What in tarnations is DeSanctis referring to?
As one would expect, there isn't a whole lot on the Roma burner on New Year's Day, so hopefully these will tide us over until the Juventus fixture.