Mercato Lag Time

Worse than waiting for Christmas is the mercato. The hopes and dreams of the entire next season and the endless trophies we dream that will follow are all relying on the perfect transfer strategy. The media churns out transfer rumors faster than Leao's record goal, only he's done in 90 minutes while they seem to work around the clock every day. This male form of masochistic entertainment is exacerbated by online media and the prevalence of social media, neither of them who have facts as their endgame. It's always about the clicks. So we the fans, bored with some major football tournament that only takes up a few hours of our day, watch the rumors fly by more diligently than we would watch grandma's life machine in the hospital. It's an addiction where there are no real fixes, only disappointments. It's like some football form of purgatory that seemingly has no end. It's the worst kind of lag time, the mercato lag time.

Tomori checking to see if Milan will buy him from Chelsea

Every year I absolve myself of these bizarre rituals. Like men who don't understand the importance of finding the perfect jeans, I don't understand why men waste so much time, money, and effort to create a lot of noise about things we will all know at the same time when the dust settles. I am convinced that you could power a small country with the speculation alone of Milan fans each time the transfer window rolls around. 

Additionally, the mercato is made up of a lot of moving pieces. For example, Gigio Donnarumma was not giving an answer about his contact renewal, so Maldini dropped the hammer and now we have Maignan. Done and dusted. However, in the case of Calhanoglu's renewal, there is more patience from the club (although not from the media... he would have to time travel to do all of the things they say he is going to do.) Waiting on his answer means we wait on a potential replacement for him, a talented number 10 who will play for peanuts. So we wait.

Journalists will write anything for clicks

Ibrahimovic's surgery means we wait to see if we need two new strikers or just one. And is that one Giroud? Or are Chelsea going to try to hold us hostage for a transfer fee? (Did they not see the Donnarumma thing go down?) We already paid them in full for Tomori. We also paid Lille for Maignan, so we've spent over €40m so far. That's like a few hundred million Euros in Maldini market deals.

Other moving pieces involve the loan redemptions of players like Tonali, Dalot, and Brahim Diaz. All of those are tricky deals, and cost will be a big factor, seeing as how we have already spent so much. Of course, if we do not redeem those loans, then we need to replace them, possibly before we replace the likes of Castillejo and Meite, two players who should be leaving this summer. All of these moves are impacted by finances, other clubs, the price of tea in China and whatever else drives the market. But they are complicated, and they take time.

Business casual, but nothing casual about his business

In a recent poll, fans rated the positions we need enforced the most. There is definitely more frenzy surrounding this summer's mercato than there was last year, when there was an overall calm at the club due to such a great finish to the season. Or maybe it was because these ridiculous rumors were finally quieted. Either way, the Champions League qualification has upped the ante, people's interest in the transfer rumors, as well as the caffeine consumption of the people who are reporting these rumors.

At the end of the day, whether you are a QAnon transfer rumor kind of person, or you prefer to get your news from the AP or ANSA, Maldini is the one spinning all of the plates again this year. He has gotten us this far, we can trust him to pull this off, too. We just need to have some patience. Which brings us right back to that mercato lag time.

This post inspired by the music of XTC's "Making Plans for Nigel"

Mercato Lag Time Mercato Lag Time Reviewed by Elaine on 5:06 AM Rating: 5
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