By Chris E. Borowski
It has been a fairly exciting transfer window in Serie A with Italian clubs unable to bring attention to their maneuvers as Chelsea and Liverpool decided to splash the biggest amounts of cash. In Italy it is called mercato di recupero which means ‘the recovery transfers’ and this names all the movements that have been made better than anything else.
Many of those were just loans with or without an option to buy a player after the season. AC Milan and Inter transfers were named league’s the best and were rated by La Gazzetta dello Sport as high as “8”; the third spot belongs to Napoli who bolstered their squad with ex-Catania fantasista Giuseppe Mascara and Espanyol defender Victor Ruiz among others.
When it comes to the quality of the players coming in, the winner is Milan who brought to Lombardia another soccer bad-boy, Antonio Cassano, and – in search for repeating the club’s successes in the late 80s/early 90s, added two Dutch players Urby Emanuleson and Mark van Bommel. When the Dutch trio: Marco van Basten, Ruud Gullit and Frank Rijkaard made the Rossoneri dreams come true. At the moment there is another Dutch trio in Massimiliano Allegri squad with Clarence Seedorf still on the roster but his future may be uncertain as his contract expires this summer.
The Italian transfer-man Mino Raiola is positive that Milan did the best movements on the transfer market. By now the biggest impact made by the newcomers the calcio followers may have noticed at the Milan’s fierce rival, Inter whose freshman Giampaolo Pazzini won the already-lost battle against Palermo the last Sunday. Massimo Moratti after a long period of internationalization of the squad has made a turnaround and now is after prospective Italian players such as Andrea Ranocchia and Giampaolo Pazzini. He and his cooperative, Mario Branca, did not make it tough to bring to San Siro their another compatriot Domenico Criscito whose move was stalled as Davide Santon hesitated whether to move to Genoa or not. Eventually, he ended up at Cesena on a loan that finishes after this season blocking the transfer of talented left-back. Moratti will not certainly let go his target so easily and we may well expect another Criscito transfer saga after July, 1 especially that some Eastern Europe clubs have been following the young defender for quite a long time.
The former Udinese and Napoli sporting director Pierpaolo Marino, now a mercato expert, dubbed the Milan and Inter transfers as the best ones among Italian clubs. “This time there is no one king of the transfer but two: Milan and Inter have brought in four players each to stay in the course for the championship – I would give a nice “8” to both. The best transfer? Still the Milan-based clubs: I put Cassano and Pazzini together on the first place,” explained Marino.
There has been some movements in the third Serie A powerhouse Juventus as they added to their squad Luca Toni and managed to bring to Turin Cagliari’s prolific striker Alessandro Matri on a loan with an option of buyout. On the other hand Giuseppe Marotta got rid of Amauri who went on a loan spell to Parma and it is possible that he will never wear the Bianconeri shirt again. It is not a reason to be happy for the Juve fans as neither Raiola nor Serafino Ingardia, a journalist writing about Italian soccer, being excited about these movements.
“[Juve] has been losing their image; it is a project that is not fancy one. I feel sorry for my friend [Pavel] Nedved,” said Raiola on Juve manoeuvres during this transfer window. “It was long, tiring and stressful,” wrote on his blog Ingardia just to conclude that the results compared to the early targets was nothing more but a ‘transfer market drama at its finest’. There has been several potential transfer targets for Juve with Alejandro Dominguez, Royston Drenthe and Karim Benzema being on the top of the list but finally Marotta managed to offload Amauri to Parma which was dubbed a ‘masterpiece’ by Ingardia. “Poor Marotta doesn’t know what to do,” said agent Ernest Bronzetti commenting on the late-hour Bianconeri movements.
At Parma the manager is delighted to have Amauri in his squad and Pasquale Marino is confident that the Italian-Brazilian can play along Hernan Crespo. “He is a player that we have been lacking to be able to have an alternative option in our game,” said he.
An interesting news has been described by Tuttomercatoweb today – yesterday Palermo owner Maurizio Zamparini received a phone call from Manchester City and 9 out of 10 soccer followers will associate that fact with the like of Javier Pastore. “I got a call from Manchester City but I do not know English,” joked the entrepreneur when asked about the case. This time the target man was not the Argentinean midfielder but one of the Palermo youngsters who already made his debut for the senior squad during the Europa League match against Lausanne-Sports, Giuseppe Prestia. With MC having an eye on him it may be a question of time when will he leave Italy and follow the steps of Federico Macheda.
With key duo coming out Sampdoria’s Riccardo Garrone decided to fill the gap with Palermo’s Massimo Maccarone and above-mentioned Macheda with Nicola Pozzi and newcomer Jonathan Biabiany still remaining two alternatives to these two players.
Three big moves from Genoa who decided to strengthen the team with players such as Abdoulay Konko (ex-Sevilla, €6 mln, made his comeback to Italy), Luca Antonelli (ex-Parma, €7 mln) and Juraj Kucka (ex-Sparta Prague, €4,5 mln).
Meanwhile, as reported by Gazzetta there are several well-known players whose contract will expire this summer, including such likes as Alessandro Del Piero, Philippe Mexes, Alessandro Nesta, Marek Jankulovski, Clarence Seedorf, Filippo Inzaghi, Andrea Pirlo (temped by English Premier League clubs), Massimo Ambrosini and Nicola Legrottaglie.
Serie A 5 biggest transfers during the winter transfer window:
Giampaolo Pazzini from Sampdoria to Inter for €12 mln Euros+ Jonathan Biabiany
Luca Antonelli from Parma to Genoa for €7 mln
Abdoulay Konko from Sevilla to Genoa for €6 mln
Andrea Ranocchia from Genoa to Inter for €6 mln
David Ruiz from Espanyol to Napoli for €6 mln
Chris E. Borowski (@brwski)
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