Straight from the dark heart of Italy
Just when we thought he would go gently into the night of his twilight years, Christian Panucci just couldn't resist one last rage and rant.
Having refused Luciano Spalletti’s request to sit on the bench for AS Roma's game at Napoli on Sunday, the moody defender then threw in a transfer request of sorts.
Well, considering he’s nearly 36 and his contract is up in the summer, it was more a cry for help for one last topping up of his bank balance.
"What do you mean no bids? Put me back on ebay again"
Apparently Roma are not willing to consider extending Panucci’s 2million euro-a-year salary for another two seasons; not after securing Juan for four more years on 2.5m a year.
However, even if he were to accept the reported 30 percent pay drop it’s not as if he’s going from the haves to the have-nots - more like the haves to the haves-a-bit-less.
In these lean times, and for someone whose stock is plummeting as quickly as any financial institution, that’s not a bad deal to consider.
It’s not as if he’s Ricky Kaka, although it must be a major blow to his inflated ego to find that clubs have not exactly been falling over themselves to secure the Panucci signature.
Juventus chortled at the idea, Genoa shook their heads and turned out their empty pockets and even Help the Aged, aka AC Milan, claimed they had no room at their Milanello retirement home.
"Panucci? Thanks, but no thanks"
Torino have been mentioned, then there’s always Manchester City although the Premier League is still probably getting over his short and unpleasant stay at Chelsea.
Having fallen out with every coach he has ever played for - from Arrigo Sacchi to Marcello Lippi and Fabio Capello in between - the sour puss of football is once again now trying to bite the hand that feeds him.
However, now it’s a case of the bark being worse than the bite and Spalletti would do well to tie the mangy old dog up to the bench and let him howl for a few scraps.
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I know he has a bit of a whinge bag reputation, but have you thought that he might just want to play football and not be overlooked?
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