The Mercato Update
Right, let's get back on track. I believe we left off in Corvino's usual utopic search for a star winger.
Winger Watch aka: Salary Caps Are a Pain in the Coccyx
The most hyped-about wingers have been written off one by one over the last week, or haven't been considered whatsoever. Some deals just aren't meant to be, short of a massive Fort Knox break-in (get your ass to Kentucky, Pantaleo). Here's a good example, the Seville-Real/Chelsea Dani Alves negotiations: the price started off at around 20 million, right? Real says ok, we can do that. Seville says great, 25m it is. Real: oh all right, 25. Seville: 30? Sounds great. Real: fuck this. Chelsea: we'll get you the 30. Seville: 30? Real offered 35, you need at least 40 to get him.
At this rate, Bill Gates would go broke paying for the co-ownership.
Now, the possibility of diving into the French market is growing ever more concrete. This is mainly due to the fact that even the possbility of Obinna, a player at the top of The Prands's wishlist, settling in Tuscany is looking more remote by the day. Chievo-Fiorentina relations are seemingly very strained. But I'm sure Moratti had absolutely nothing to do with it. Well, that sucks. There's a really good possibility he develops into one of the most effective winger/strikers in Italy and, dare I say it? Europe (which is another way of saying 'The World').
So what are the options now? Well, The Pants seems interested in bringing home Antonio Di Natale of Udinese. This is pretty unexpected, I gotta say. Seems as though Antonio is having locker room troubles, and his exclusion from the recent Udinese friendlies, which is officially due to physical troubles, is actually because of arguments with players and coach. Antonio would be great to have, but I'm not all that sure this deal would go through. In Primis, he is almost 30. Regardless of age, Pozzo, Leonardi, & co. aren't exactly known for gift-wrapping their prized players. But as long as the price does not exceed 10m, money shouldn't be too large of a problem. However, the reasons for his clashes with teammates and management will have to be evaluated, as we don't need a guy with a 'tude stinking up our perfectly harmonious, Bojinov-free locker room. And yet, he's always seemed like a pretty chilled out guy, or else he would have thrown a temper tantrum to get out of Udine and accept one of the offers he's received this summer (Roma, Milan(?), possibly Juve and Napoli...). Right now, this is mostly media speculation, but there could be something to this after all. However it should be noted that Juventus, Milan, and Napoli could enter the Di Natale Sweepstakes as well. Tough competitors, those three.
The Viola management has completed the deal with Lecce for young striker Pablo Daniel Osvaldo. It's official, and he's signed for 5 years. The cost of the transaction is 3m euros, which was carried out at lightning speed, and it looks as though Pantaleo has had his eyes on him for quite a while. He could very well have been the alternative to Obinna, in which case I congratulate the management for keeping their eyes open and going for other targets when the original ones seem unlikely.
So, who is Pablo Daniel Osvaldo? To tell you the truth, I didn't know much about him till we bought him, but after a little research, I realized I probably should have been much happier to hear the news that we bought him than I actually was. This is a good link for Italian speakers. For those who are not, these are his career highlights:
- 2005 (19 years old)- plays his way to starting eleven in Argentine Second Division team, Huracan. He scores 11 goals in 33 appearances.
- January 2006- Atalanta (then in Serie B) buys him. He plays 3 games, scoring one goal.
- Summer 2006- Sold in Co-own to Lecce. Starts off well with Zeman, scoring in his debut, but is given little confidence by Papadopulo when he replaces Zeman. He is not played all that much, but still manages to score a respectable 8 goals in the 06-07 season (not bad for a 21 y/o still new to Italian soccer).
That link includes some of his goals. I feel pretty good about this kid. Early to say whether he'll be a complete waste of 3 million euros, but it's a good deal from a price/possibility of thriving perspective.
Last but not Least
Add Julio Baptista to the list of attacking midfielders we're after. You know, Pantaleo, eventually you're going to have to come up with a way to pay these dream players of yours's contracts.
If Milan buys Baptista, however, for some reason Fiorentina would be able to buy Alberto Gilardino. Prandelli was, after all, the one that turned him into a great striker, before he started his Milan decline. Although I think we need another striker even less than we need another winger. Either way, I don't think he'll go for 1.5 mill/year and bi-monthly trips to Colombia with Vieri and Mutu.