Straight from the dark heart of Italy
Real Madrid are devouring football, claim the Italian press.
The “Real Cannibale” headlines appearing in two of the three sports dailies and quite a number of their news cousins need no translation.
Gazzetta dello Sport were also as puzzled and perplexed as everyone else: “Something doesn’t add up.”
And doing the sums it has also raised questions on whether AC Milan sold themselves short in the Ricky Kaka deal.
The answer would have to be a resounding “Yes.”
Cristiano Ronaldo heads to Madrid for something in the region of 93million Euro and Kaka pitches up for a what seems a snip at 65m. The only advantage the Portuguese has over Kaka is a three-year age gap.
Of course, papa Kaka has apparently picked up 10m Euro and the younger less-talented brother has also been reportedly thrown in there for a spare 1m and change.
It all adds up but Silvio Berlusconi and his right-hand man Adriano Galliani slipped up – and surely could have wrangled a few more million out of the deal.
Berlusconi and Galliani: "Oops"
The knock-on effect will certainly see Zlatan Ibrahimovic and his outsized ego head off to Barcelona in an attempt to keep up with the Joneses.
Zlat the Mercenary will be looking for an improvement on his paltry 12m Euro annual take-home and the general consensus this side of the Med is “Good luck and have a nice trip.”
Massimo Moratti has already marked the Swede’s card, claiming that he doesn’t really need to sell the striker but he isn't going to stand in the way of anyone who doesn’t want to play for the club.
Same goes for Maicon, who has been complaining that he has not been shown the “correct respect” – rich coming from a player who was plucked from the relative obscurity of Monaco and turned into a world-class full-back.
It now looks unlikely that Moratti is going to play ball with Samuel Eto’o, whom he believes does not merit a contract that would pay off a debt off a developing nation – something around 10m Euro over five years plus a sweetener of 15m to see him through his dotage.
If the Cameroonian finds a sugar daddy in Manchester City, Inter will then turn their time and resources to Karim Benzema.
The Lyon striker looks a better bet in the long-term: he’s only 21 and can be landed for a nice round figure of 30m, plus he’s willing to make do with 4m a year.
On the playing side, the French lad is similar to Ibra in build and style – but let’s hope he doesn’t end up being just as stroppy as the man he is replacing.
Who knows, in this crazy summer the Eto’o deal may go through as Inter look at the short-term gain of having someone in the team who has actually won a Champions League medal.
But one thing is certain: as the Spanish bull market greedily eats up Europe’s finest talent, the Italian bear equivalent can only sit and scratch itself in disbelief.
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