Archive for the 'transfers' category

Trasferimenti!

January 10, 2008 2:12 am

(Transfers!)

At last!

As the calciomercato speculation continues, actual honest-to-God deals are finally being made. That being the case, let’s forego the rumors and skip right to the actual transfers, or situations where a transfer is truly very close to being a done deal (according to the player or the team).

Here goes:

Cirillo to Reggina – Simply put, this is a “save us from relegation” move for Reggina, who actually gave Cirillo his start many moons ago. (He’s 30 now.) The defender will be on loan from Spanish club Levante until June, at what point (I’m guessing) Reggina will probably ante up and allow Cirillo to finish his career where it began.

Storari and Jeda to Cagliari – Cirillo isn’t the only Italian being dumped by Levante. I never would’ve guessed that I’d mention Levante twice in one post, but Storari is leaving Spain as well. He was on loan there from Milan, but the Spanish side was having trouble paying the keeper’s salary. Yeah, yeah, yeah, he’s 31, but at this point, Cagliari will take whatever help they can get, I’m sure. Along with Storari minding the door, Cagliari have also managed to pick up Jeda, a Brazilian striker. (I still say there’s a striker assembly line somewhere in that country.) Jeda was on loan with Serie B outfit Rimini. (Hopefully, someone’s told these guys to be nice to Foggia… lest one of Pasquale’s guys will launch a chair at them.)

Sissoko to Juve – Alright, this one’s not 100% official yet, but according to Sisko… I mean Sissoko, the “negotiations are very close to a conclusion.” Anyway, it sounds like a done deal, just about. I probably shouldn’t make fun of this dude’s name though; he’s actually a pretty tough guy with some top-tier international experience. Most recently, he was with Liverpool, and although he hasn’t shined there as of late, he’s never been an attacking midfielder; picture him instead as a younger, taller, African Gattuso. (I think Juve can use one of them.) Oh… this guy’s young too; he’s just 22 years old.

Cardone and Paponi to Cesena – In all fairness, Paponi‘s only 19, so there’s no telling what the hell he’s capable of. I guess that Parma realizes they’re never going to find out if they don’t get the kid some playing time, hence the loan to Serie B side Cesena. Cardone, on the other hand, is no “kid,” and it’s likely that the defender’s move to Cesena is more permanent. (Incidentally, it’s been speculated that Paponi’s exit from Parma is in preparation for a Lucarelli entrance. Whether or not that’s the case, I don’t know. Actually, I was going to have an entry on Lucarelli to Parma in this post, but there are still conflicting reports, believe it or not. Some say it’s a done deal, while others say negotiations broke down.)

Bucchi to Bologna – Napoli are loaning Bucchi out to Serie B leaders Bologna, as Zalayeta and Lavezzi apparently have the team’s striker duties locked down. Bucchi is no stranger to Serie B. In fact, during the ’05-’06 season, he tore it up, scoring 29 goals in 41 matches for Modena. It sounds like a decent plan (might as well keep the guy playing continuously, right?), but I’m not sure that Bologna need Bucchi. They are at the top of the pack, after all.

Maniche to Inter – I really wish that read “Maniche to Viola,” but the Dark Side of the Force is apparently strong with Darth Figo. Anyway, this is another one that’s not 100% official yet, but it’s been said that Maniche could be presented to the Italian press later today. Inter’s getting the Portuguese midfielder on lease (from Atletico Madrid) with an option to buy and a 15,000 mile per year limit.

That’s all for today; once there’s another batch of done-deal trades to talk about, I’ll post ‘em up. If not, the will be matches to talk about, for once!

C’è qualche verità?

January 8, 2008 2:15 am

(Is there any truth?)

Sifting through the garbage pile that is the calciomercato hyperbole-fest is like watching a mediocre movie with a predictable ending. You sit there, somewhat interested in what’s going on, but with an underlying feeling of dissatisfaction… because you just know what’s going to happen in the end. But still, you finish watching the movie because on the outside shot that you’re wrong this time, you don’t want to miss it.

In the case of transfer rumors, you just know that most of the time, what you read or hear is more or less fabricated by some caffeine-fueled sports journalist who wants to be the first to report about (insert rumor here), even though he knows he’s broadcasting conjecture as fact. But still, you read all that you can, on the outside shot that there’s a grain of truth somewhere in the pile.

Today is no exception; rumor pile sits before us, and we’re sifting through it looking for fact, but not expecting to find any. Perhaps it’s futile then, that I’ve pulled what I felt was notable from what’s out there – fully aware that most of it is (probably) complete trash. Nonetheless, we’ll take a very cautious look:

  • Roma’s backup ‘keeper, Curci, wants to play more. (That much is probably true. Also true is the fact that Roma fans want to see him play more. Just ask the gang over at the Roma Offside Blog.) Unfortunately however, Roma’s primary ‘keeper, Doni, sees the bench very rarely. Perhaps as a result, Curci may be entertaining the idea of a move. Corriere dello Sport is mentioning Parma and Sampdoria in connection with the ‘keeper, although they don’t specify why they’re mentioning those two clubs, specifically. Update: Curci getting antsy makes sense, as Doni is supposedly extending his contract.
  • Goal.com is reporting that Zambrotta may be headed back to Juve. While this would be sensational news if it were to pan out, this is not the first time we’ve heard the “Zambrotta wants to return to Italy” routine. Update: This rumor’s been shot down already. That was fast.
  • I’ve said before that Fiorentina are hurting for players, and I was hoping that Maniche would be the answer. Well, the Viola-Maniche connection is becoming less and less of a likelihood by the day, it seems. Not only were the Viola allegedly *just* going after a different midfielder (who’s apparently taken himself off the radar already) but it’s being said (true or not) that Maniche is only interested in Inter, and that Figo is actively lobbying to get his countryman on board.
  • More Roma – It appears that very recent rumors about a Manchester City / Roma deal don’t hold water. It was said that Roma would give stepover-stepover-stepover-stepover-stepover Mancini to City in exchange for Italian (yes!) striker Rolando Bianchi. Unfortunately, Bianchi’s agent is now saying it’s not true. That would be in line with what Spalletti is saying about “not expecting reinforcements.”
  • OK. This one’s not a transfer rumor, but it made me laugh. – Would you want to see a 40 year-old Panucci playing? As much as I like the guy for his service on Roma and the nazionale… 40!?!?!??!?!?! Dude, this isn’t bowling.
  • This one’s not a transfer rumor either. – Blatter’s making sense again! It seems that I’m not the only one who thinks that it’s a bit odd that England has a thing for non-English coaches.

By the way, in case anyone’s wondering when this whole mercato mess ends, it’s over on January 31. (Coincidentally, I’m going away on the 31st, so serieAmerica will be inactive from the January 31 until February 5 or thereabouts.)

Lucarelli, Maniche, Bresciano e Foggia

January 2, 2008 11:53 pm

Welcome to my Brazilian-free transfer rumor post!

Why Brazilian-free, you ask?

Well, quite frankly, I think we’ve heard enough about these guys and what they might do. Honestly, if I read one more Ronaldinho/Adriano/Ronaldo/Amauri “article” (if you even want to call the little paragraphs I’ve been reading “articles”), I’ll make like Samir from Office Space and “throw dees piece of sheeet out dee window.” (That would be bad, as I do not have a spare laptop.)
I know, I know. There are recurring rumors published about non-Brazilian players too. I’ll concede that. It just seems, however, like the ones about the Brazilians have been in circulation for far longer. Subsequently, I feel like these guys need to stop partying in Sao Paulo for five minutes and make some *&$%ing decisions.

Alright. Enough about the Brazilians.

Let’s talk instead about big man Cristiano Lucarelli. Goal.com and Calciomercato.com are both reporting that Parma and Torino are the two sides that seem most interested, although Goal.com mentions a few other squads as well, Napoli, Genoa and Milan (yeah, right) among them. Both sites are also saying that we won’t know anything until after January 7, as that’s when the striker returns from holiday. Once he’s back, there are supposed to be meetings with both clubs. As for which of the two clubs has a better chance, Calciomercato.com seems to think that the big man would rather play for Torino, while Goal.com is calling Parma’s bid “serious.” Meh. Whatever.

If Project Lucarelli doesn’t pan out for Torino, they’ve supposedly got their eye on the truly promising young’n Rolando Bianchi, who’s currently with Manchester City. Parma’s backup, on the other hand, is Uruguayan striker Pablo Granoche, who scored five goals in seven matches with Serie B side Triestina. (Does anybody else think that maybe these guys should be looked at as more than just backup plans?)

A couple posts ago, I mentioned Maniche, the Portuguese international who apparently wants out of Atletico. Well, Channel 4 is now reporting that he’s still available, although Juve and Milan have been omitted from the list of interested parties, leaving just ArgentInter and Fiorentina. I feel like I’m watching a horse race on this one. Come ooooooooooonnnnnn purple! Come oooooooonnnnnn Viola! Better yet, it’s like the movie The Goonies, when the kids’ houses were going to be bought out by the evil developers, and they had to find the pirate treasure to fund… er… save the day. So… yeah. Fiorentina are like the Goonies, while ArgentInter are the evil developers. (Who’s Sloth? Bobo?)

Just yesterday, I mentioned Aussie midfielder Mark Bresciano (who currently wears Palermo pink), although it wasn’t in the context of a transfer rumor. As it turns out, Lazio are interested. Wait… did I just say that? Lazio? The same Lazio that still haven’t settled Rocchi’s contract (to my knowledge), and who might loseWeight Exercise Pandev? They actually want to buy? All Lazio stone-breakin’ aside, I think Bresciano would fit in well… although that’s not saying much for Lazio, because I think this guy would fit in well anywhere, as he’s versatile and has a work rate that would make Gattuso smile.

Speaking of Lazio, they might want to think about calling back Pasquale Foggia, who’s been out on loan to (and getting into trouble at) Calgiari. Given Lazio’s lack of enthusiasm in renewing their best friggin’ player’s (Rocchi’s) contract, however, I wouldn’t be surprised if they let Foggia slip through the cracks… which Channel 4 thinks is a distinct possibility.

NataleMercato

December 27, 2007 2:36 am

As we all stumble out of our respective Christmas hangovers, so goes the calciomercato.

In other words, between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, it’s friggin’ slow in the calcio world. Still, slow is not dead, so there are a few items to discuss. Here goes:

Maniche = Available – Portugal and Atletico Madrid midfielder Maniche is apparently ready to leave his club – sooner rather than later, from the sound of it. (His agent has made it pretty clear that they’re entertaining offers now.) Goal.com is reporting that Inter, Juve, Fiorentina and Milan are all interested parties at this point. For those of you unfamiliar with Maniche, he’s only played 24 matches with Atletico, although he has been a frequent call-up for his country. So… no, he’s not the most consistent guy out there, but I still tend to think he may yet have something to offer the right side. If his asking price isn’t too ridiculous, Fiorentina in particular might want to take a look, given their depth issues this season.

Lazio Go Shopping – Everybody knows Lazio’s in trouble, and Coach Delio Rossi is quick to point out why: They need to buy reinforcements. While I’m not disagreeing, I was hoping that there would be a clear resolution to their Rocchi situation before I’d start reading about Lazio transfer rumors. More specifically, I was hoping they’d sort out their best friggin’ player’s contract before hitting the mall. Nonetheless, it’s Lazio, and Lazio makes no sense, so a-shopping they go. Word has it they’re looking at some dude with a name more suited to pro wrestling than calcio, as well as Sampdoria defender Lucchini, and Romanian ‘keeper Lobont, while Stendardo looks to be on his way out following a near kung-fu fight with Rossi.

Spalletti Wants “Substance” & Totti Wants “Change” – With comments that should earn him the nickname “Captain Vague” (or “Captain Obvious,” perhaps) Roma Coach Luciano Spalletti has thrown some vanilla comments out there, as usual:

On a pitch of 110 metres, technique is often not enough. You need running, strength and grit, as we’re not on a 5-a-side football pitch. The squad has been completed, and completed well, but it has not been improved enough, and at times when we miss some players, their absence is felt a lot.

Now… whether he’s making a case for A) more effort from his Giallorossi, or B) a little transfer action, is anyone’s guess, but I’d like to think it’s the latter. Roma can’t let Lazio have all the fun, right? In all seriousness, Roma may not have the depth issues of a Lazio or a Fiorentina, but they don’t exactly have Hernan Crespo coming off of the bench (like you-know-who) either. And yes, while everybody knows I’d love to see Mr. Christmas alongside Il Capitano, I realize that if it ever happens, it won’t be until the end of the season… so what to do now, during the January transfer window? I don’t know, but I heard that there’s some tall dude languishing in the frozen tundra of… well… the Ukraine, and he’s looking for a ticket back to Italy.

OK. So, I mentioned Totti earlier. About that: It seems that Er Pupone has been doing some thinking this holiday season. As a result, he’s calling for several changes. First off, he thinks there should be more than three substitutions per match. Second, he wants to do away with evening matches in the winter. Third, he wants random drug testing.

Regarding the random drug testing, I think it sounds fine. Random is probably better than scheduled anyway, so long as they’re still testing everybody, right? As for the evening matches in the winter, um… OK? I honestly don’t know. I’ve never been in Italy during winter, so I really don’t know what these guys are up against, but I have noticed that those neck-warmer thingies have gotten increasingly popular as of late. Maybe there’s something to it.

Now… regarding increasing the number of substitutions during a match, isn’t the international standard three? If nobody else is increasing theirs, why should Italy be any different? I’d hate to see Italian players get soft because they’re out there changing lines like a hockey team, while the rest of Europe is slogging it out for 90 minutes. Come on, Francesco. You already got out of Azzurri duty. Now you want Roma to sub you out more often too?

Kaka + Dida = Homies – Or at least… they must be. I mean, why the hell else would Kaka defend a mistake-prone diver? It must be a Brazilian thing. Speaking of Brazilian things, La Gazzetta dello Sport published a photo of Adriano and Ronaldo (and some fat rapper-looking dude) looking all buddy-buddy at some Brazilian concert, along with an article stating that Brazilian side Flamengo wants FatRon. I wasn’t a fan of FatRon coming to Milan to begin with, so I’m all for it. (By the way, that photo was apparently somewhat controversial.) Stay in Sunny Brazil, Ronnie. Get your pal Adriano to stay too, while you’re at it, mmmkay?

Solo due Italiani?

December 23, 2007 3:52 pm

(Only two Italians?)

I like the English. They seem to be pretty good people, and after all, they’ve given the world Earl Grey tea, The Office, Arthurian legend, fish & chips, BondJamesBond, and of course, Monty Python. Subsequently, I normally listen to what the English have to say regarding football, and despite the occasional dash of anti-Italian bias that surfaces now and then in English sports journalism, I’m OK with what I hear and read.

Every so often however, the English do or say something that leaves me scratching my head. For instance, I really don’t understand their apparent willingness… even eagerness (some would call it)… to hire a non-native to coach their national team.

Likewise, I don’t understand how English football mag FourFourTwo can include only two Italians (Lucarelli and Chiellini) in their list of the top 100 players that teams should consider during the Janauary transfer window. I suppose that I could just chalk this up to the aforementioned anti-Italian bias, but I think that this one is probably the result of either lunacy or ignorance.

Bearing in mind that this isn’t a list of the 100 best footballers outright, I can see where they’re going with Lucarelli. He sores goals, and he’s made himself quite available, so obviously, someone on the peninsula should pick him up. Chiellini though? I didn’t know he was even remotely interested in leaving Juve.

Chiellini’s inclusion opens up a can of worms for sure; I mean… if we’re going to include players who have unclear intentions and/or availability, there should be a veritable crap-ton of Italians on the list. Rocchi? Calaio? Foggia? Aquilani? Criscito? Come on. Those are just off the top of my head. What’s FourFourTwo thinking?

Actually, forget about what FourFourTwo are thinking. Tell me if you know what the hell these guys are thinking:

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

Seriously, those are some crazy-stupid %&@#ers, right there.

Buon Natale a tutti!

La Notizia – Settimana 15

December 8, 2007 3:20 pm

(The News – Week 15)

[I'm going away this weekend, so please excuse today's brevity/format!]

Alright, we’re still not quite halfway through the Serie A season, but we’re getting there.  Of course, that means we’re terribly close to the January transfer window, and as a result, rumors are flying all over the place.  There’s a ton of news (both real and speculative), and I’m going to do what I can to pluck out some of the more interesting (or alarming) pieces. Here goes:

  • A while ago, I posted something about a well-known German being considered by Juve. Now, it appears as though Juve may be considering an equally well-known Englishman. Interestingly enough, both are from Chel$ea.  The Channel 4 article claims that “just” £700K is stalling negotiations.  Just? Am I the only one that thinks that’s a lot of money?  Tuttosport seems to think it’s basically a done deal, money aside.
  • Boy… it seems that Milan want somebody… anybody from Barcelona. First they’re talking about Zambrotta, then they’re talking about Ronaldinho, then they’re talking about both. Now Eto’s name is being thrown into the pot. My question is, what the hell will Barcelona want in return?  I haven’t read a thing on that. *cough*GiveThemRonaldoForFree*cough*
  • This next one is being filed under “F’n alarming.Lippi is being linked to the vacant England coaching position, and Corriere Della Sera is stating that he’s already “said yes.” In the past, Lippi has shunned talk of a trip to England, stating that it would be impractical due to the language barrier.  Here though, it seems like he’s wanted badly. I mean… Mourinho and Capello visited the FA, but the FA is sending a guy out to Lippi.  Please, England… with all due respect, kindly look within your own borders.
  • This isn’t a transfer rumor [collective sigh of relief], but I found it interesting: Quagliarella says he’s not going to celebrate if he scores in this weekend’s Udinese v. Sampdoria match.  I think it’s a fair gesture, but it’s also easier said than done.
  • OK. This last one has slid under the radar of plenty of news outlets… either that, or they just don’t care: Real Madrid wants Mutu and Vucinic.  It sounds to me that Roma aren’t in too much danger of losing Vuci; Lecce and Roma co-own him, and Lecce is being pretty good about warning big-brother Roma about Real’s prying eyes.  Mutu, on the other hand… 17M plus Diarra? Hmmm…

Arrabbiato per un Buon Motivo

December 5, 2007 12:31 pm

(Angry for a Good Reason)

Napoli’s starting ‘keeper, Gennaro Iezzo is less than happy, and rightfully so, perhaps. He has apparently caught wind of rumors concerning possible Napoli interest in Marco Amelia. According to his agent, Iezzo isn’t exactly “jumping for joy,” although I haven’t seen anything to indicate that Iezzo is considering an exit, as the Channel 4 Italia headline suggests.

While it’s true that Iezzo has had his bad matches, most notably this past weekend versus Atalanta, he and backup ‘keeper Gianello were at the top of their respective games earlier this season, to the point where I was sure that both of them would eventually be bound for squads with deeper pockets. That said, I hope Napoli aren’t actually considering Amelia; it’s possible that Iezzo hasn’t fully recovered from an injury sustained early in the season, and he may just need a bit more time. If that’s the case, Gianello is fully capable to man the door.

In other news…

(Since January is just around the corner, I’m rounding up some of the more credible transfer rumors.)

  • Zambrotta to Milan – As if Milan didn’t already have a good defense, they’re going to get Zambrotta? This is pretty big.
  • Shevchenko to Juveor Milan – I’d rather see him return to the red and black, but it’s been said that Milan has reserved the spot for Pato.
  • Lucarelli to Torino – This much is true: he’s not staying in the Ukraine; I’d bet on that.

Last but not least, did anybody read about the WWE-style feud involving the Cagliari players? If Cagliari has any prayer of challenging Roma today, they’ll need to get over this.

(Update: Cagliari management has dealt with the situation.)