With the January transfer window in its infancy, Dylan Fahy casts an eye over the peculiar whispers already doing the rounds in Serie A.
Whether it be Juventus linked with Luis Suarez and Alexis Sanchez, Mario Balotelli signalling his intentions for a move to Milan by grabbing at Roberto Mancini or claims that even Queens Park Rangers have turned their noses up at Inter’s Wesley Sneijder, the whispers and rumours that comprise the 2013 January transfer window in Italy are filled to the brim with thrills and spills.
The storied line that the winter mercato is merely a time to “reinforce your squad” seems to have gone out the proverbial window this year, with Serie A’s finest already declaring their intent for major moves. However, there are three eccentric links either touching down or moving around the peninsula outside of the big three shakers and twisters in Turin and Milan that have excited the most.
Lazio have one of the most creative yet concrete midfields in the country, centred around the prolific Hernanes but protected by the exploits of Antonio Candreva and Cristian Ledesma. Frank Lampard looks set to be the next Aquile-related arrival in the capital, and his recent brace against Everton has proved he can still pack a punch. More than the 34-year-old’s abilities on the pitch, the international attention and shirts sales he brings may continue the club’s forward momentum.
Fiorentina have sealed the signing of Giuseppe Rossi from Villarreal and the striker will be at the Artemio Franchi for Sunday’s game. The 25-year-old will not return to action until mid-March due to persistent problems with his right knee, but could be the revelation that spurs La Viola onto a Champions League finish. Stevan Jovetic will undoubtedly move on in the near future, and the former Manchester United man would take his place.
Bologna may not be bringing in an English-speaker from foreign lands, but their push for Emiliano Viviano has been equally surprising. The Rossoblu are looking to capitalise on the 27-year-old having lost his place to Brazilian youngster Neto at Fiorentina. Vincenzo Montella is said to have lost patience with several key errors from the Palermo loanee, but considering he only arrived at his hometown club in July and sports a tattoo of the Viola emblem on his chest, it could make a return to Dell’Ara impossible.
Despite the exodus of Brazilians from the Rossoneri or a certain Dutchman departing the Nerazzurri attracting the most attention, the eye-catching moves appear to be materializing further south. Didier Drogba’s arrival can take a backseat for now, but this particular January certainly looks set to shape the outcome of Serie A more than most in recent years.