Straight from the dark heart of Italy
The January sales are never what they are cracked up to be: too many things that don’t fit and you certainly don’t need.Inter, of course, grabbed the best bargain in Portuguese tough-guy, Maniche while shipping Adriano as far away from the Milan nightspots as possible.The dailies and Sky Sports Italia tried their best to run with the story that Ronaldinho had been supposedly sighted being whisked into the AC Milan/Inter [delete as applicable] headquarters but overall it was pretty grim pickings throughout the month.AS Roma didn’t bother joining the queues, leaving Juventus scrambling around in the bargain bin for something to buy, anything in fact, and all they could come up with was Guglielmo Stendardo and Mohamed Sissoko while Olof Malberg was tagged and left behind the counter to be picked up in July.The Bianconeri fans knew what to expect from the Lazio man: absolutely nothing as he demonstrated in the Italian Cup defeat to Inter. Cumbersome and uncomfortable, as worthless as a second-hand sofa.However, Sissoko has left them a little more confused. Firstly, who exactly is he, is he the new Edgar Davids, another Patrick Vieira or God forbid, Sergio Almiron, kicked over the border to France or Tiago – no takers at all?The grumbling Gobbi will have a chance to peruse the goods when the Mali international makes his expected debut at the Olympic stadium on Sunday although it’s only against bottom side Cagliari.
In the end, it was the usual suspects packing their bags and heading off to loan purgatory, with most clubs getting rid off their deadwood only to be lumped with some more.
Here’s a few floating around who caught the eye:
Rolando Bianchi to Lazio from Manchester City – an instant hit on the lumbering striker’s return to the peninsula as he’s sent-off in first game.
Ousmane Dabo back in the bosom of Lazio whose fans he described as being inherently racist but at least there’s little chance of Serie A’s finest making a bid for Joey Barton.
And then there’s Roberto Mancini doing what few Italian parents do and allowing their offspring to fly the nest before their mid-30s. Mancini the younger, Fabio, has been sent off to old uncle Sven for some quality time in Manchester.
Bringing the shutter down on proceedings was Sampdoria beanpole Andrea Caracciolo, dropping down to Serie B side Brescia while Napoli’s cheque in the post trick didn’t work in prising native-son Mauro Esposito back home from Roma.
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