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The Mercato Inquisition

By this point in the summer, everyone is ready for the transfer market to be done. But with three more weeks left, we are still subject to this endless torture. Rather than sit around and wait, I grabbed my imaginary team of doctors: Dr. Who, Dr. What, and Dr. Why, and a ridiculously large amount of imaginary truth serum and I imagined myself heading to Italy for an imaginary inquisition of epic proportions of some of the big Serie A mercato players.



First up was a friendly, truth-induced chat with Maurizio Zamparini, owner of Palermo.

Why wouldn’t you sell Balzaretti to Milan?
I consulted an old gypsy woman that I know, she has never steered me wrong. I never made a managerial change without asking her, and look how well that has gone for me. I ended up right back where I started! She is great. I have her on speed dial, would you like to see? (tries to reach for cell phone.) Anyway, she told me that Balzaretti was too beautiful for Milan, that I must keep him. So I decided to sell Pastore instead. He is good, but not as beautiful. I want to have a beautiful club.

So why would you only sell Pastore outside of Serie A?
I always wanted to be in the imports/exports business. If I kept my import in the league, I couldn’t very well claim to have exported him, could I? Besides, it gave me a chance to speak with that filthy, traitorous Leonardo guy I’ve heard so much about. That kid has a future in football. I think he would sell his own child if it bettered his career.


Then we visited with Claudio Lotito, owner of Lazio. He seemed very cooperative until the truth serum kicked in, for some reason.

What were you thinking in allowing Muslera to leave Lazio?
Porco Dio! Che cazzo te ne frega? That filthy Uruguayan was two-timing me. He played well enough for Uruguay, but disgraced the Eagles one too many times. Let him rot in Turkey, bastardo cornuto!


Next up was Aurelio De Laurentiis, owner of Napoli. After a double dose of truth serum, he finally “opened up” for us.

I will get straight to the point: Why did you put €100 million price tag on Hamsik?
€100 million? I have 100 million pairs of socks. Sometimes I like to put them on my cat.

No, sir, 100 million Euros for Marek Hamsik. Why so much?
Marek Hamsik? Don’t you think he looks like one of those fish at the bottom of the ocean? I wish my hair would do that cool standing up thing.

Sir, could you please tell us why you won’t sell Hamsik to Milan?
Milan won the Scudetto. We could have won the Scudetto, you know. I wish we had more trophies. We need to get as many trophies as Milan. Have you ever seen il Duomo? With the lady Madonnina on the top? She is very beautiful.

Hmmm. Maybe if you won’t talk about Hamsik, could you tell us about your infamous recent scooter ride? Why did you wave down a stranger and ride off on his scooter after your tirade about the new Serie A schedule?
I had a scooter when I was young. All the girls liked to ride on it with me. Did you see that movie with the scooter? I used to make movies, you know. Footballers are bigger primadonnas than movie stars. Especially that Hamsik. I wish I could get rid of him, but I can’t seem to. I don’t know why.



And lastly, we tricked our very own Adriano Galliani to sit down with us and with the help of some truth serum, answer some questions we all have on our minds.

Who is Mr. X?
Mr. X is a comic book character I used to draw when I was in school. He was the best football playing superhero ever. I wanted to be just like him. One day, when Massimiliano was in my office, he discovered one of my old sketch books, and we decided that it would be fun to play some games with the media this summer to distract them from our real work, and so Milan’s very own Mr. X was born.

So is there a player that you are looking to buy who is Mr. X?
Not one player, no. We have talked with many clubs about acquiring a midfielder to complete our roster, but we do not have any agreements yet. I always do best working against the deadline, people are much more willing to give me a deal at the end of the mercato, so we are waiting.

Can you tell us any names of players you have looked at?
Well, Hamsik was one who Allegri wanted. But no one can make any sense of that De Laurentiis, so I don’t think that will happen. We have talked with Arsenal about Fabregas, but it seemed best to stay out of their affairs with Barcelona, plus the player seems to have his heart set on Spain. We had looked into Witsel, but then Benfica came in and made a good deal for him, so we missed out. Montolivo is still a possibility, and so is Aquilani. All of these deals can be delicate, dealing with the clubs and the players as well as being dependent on their other deals to go through.

What about Kaká returning?
I did not think it was possible for financial reasons, but Real Madrid seem keen to offload him for next to nothing, so if we can work it out, he may return. I honestly don’t know right now, this new drop in price was unexpected. We are working very hard on it, though.

So we will have at least one more signing?
Yes. If I do not sleep even one wink for the next three weeks, Berlusconi has asked me to do everything I can to make us viable in the Champions League, and Allegri and I concur that we need one more solid midfielder. It was obvious on Saturday, and even though we won the Supercoppa, we were not Champions League ready. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to make some calls…

Um, sir… you may want to wait until that truth serum wears off….



This post was inspired by Elaine’s Down Under mix: Midnight Oil, Violent Femmes,
Wolfmother, AC/DC, INXS, Crowded House, The Church, The Vines