For a lot of fans, the highlight of winter isn't the festivities and gifts and severed trees; it's the opening of the transfer window, with all its attendant expectation and excitement. Is your team mired in the relegation zone and unable to put the ball in the net? An Argentinean international attacker is just what you need (hi, Juan Iturbe and Bournemouth (!)). Hopelessly midtable, with no realistic chance to end up in Europe or drop down a level? Surprise, all of your outstanding young players are suddenly linked to your wealthier neighbor club (sorry not sorry, Empoli). Sitting near the top of the table? It's time to engage in an all-out arms race.
And the best part is that, as my first-grade art teacher told us, the only limit is your imagination. Have you figured out exactly why Manchester City are going to recall Stevan Jovetić from his loan at Inter Milan and then sell him to Fiorentina at a tremendous discount? Got the scoop on why an as-yet-unknown English club are going to buy Mario Suárez for €25 million? Did your best friend's sister's boyfriend's brother's girlfriend hear from this guy who knows this kid who's going with the girl who saw Zlatan Ibrahimovic getting gelato from a certain Gonzalo-affiliated gelateria last night? I guess it's pretty serious.
So yes, bring on the reports that don't actually report anything. Bring on the ubiquitous "unnamed sources close to the player" that confirm he's on the move. Bring on the agents' statements that have no meaning independent of fans' desperate twisting to find a meaning that was never intended, like the foretelling of various 20th century events in Virgil's Aeneid. January is the craziest and dumbest month of the year in this sport, and I wouldn't change a thing.
In this season of non-stop rumors, we've got a thread tracking the major ones here.
We'll even start you off with a couple of free rumors. The first one is for Anderlecht's (and former DC United) Andy Najar. Here are the details.
Lucas Ocampos is also reportedly nearing a move from Marseille. Here is your complete report.
And don't miss Federico Bernardeschi's most recent press conference, which we've pulled the highlights from here. He's awesome.
Relive an astounding first half of the season with the Viola Nation review here.
And here we've got a preview for what to expect in this mercato, which will seem hilariously misguided come February.
Comment of the week
Mike-R makes sure we remember one of the most important posts in Viola Nation history, from wolfpackallday. Never forget, folks. Never forget.
Oh yeah, and in case anyone forgot, Serie A resumes on Wednesday, which means WE GET TO WATCH FIORENTINA AGAIN AASDLKFJSLKJ. Game is at Palermo, and we'll run our usual coverage. Until then, forza Viola.