Cagliari ChaosBy: Jeremy | June 21st, 2012
How are all my fellow Cagliari fan(s) out there? Are you enjoying our new Twitter feed @CagliariOffside or are you just wondering why this blog seems to be on life support just like our beloved clubs year to year Serie A status? Dont fret, we are soon to begin the 2012-13 season but there are still lots of player issues to sort out in the next couple of months. While its still early lets talk about the team and some key players and where the are now and where they might be come fall.
The stadium issue still has not resolved and until it does, Cellino will keep the purse strings closed. Players who seemed likely to return may not and there may even more last minute purchases of low cost high upside types as the goal seems to be barely staying in Serie A until a new stadium is ready. With the Sant Elia no longer an option, the hope is for the Stadio is Arenas to hold our home games next year. For now the uncertainties continue so lets briefly touch on a few players to get an idea of where some our favorites may be next year.
It seems like we have our coaching position as solidified as it can be heading in to the year. As you know Ficcadenti was fired early in the season only to be brought back because Cellino did not like Ballardini’s performance. Ficcadenti did not inspire upon his return and carries very little respect in the dressing room. His almost immediate confirmation for the new season gives us reason to think there is going to be significant turnover amongst players and we will see many new faces that he hopes to shape into a winning squad. Stability in this position has not been something associated with Cagliari so it is not a huge issue, but we currently have the wrong coach and he is being set up to be the scapegoat should we start poorly next year. With home games still possibly to be in Trieste for the forseeable future, he probably has the least job security of any coach in Serie A and will be the odds on favorite to be the first coach fired once the new season begins.
Simply put he was and is Cagliaris most important player and his return to Cagliari is vital for the teams success. If you dont understand what I am saying call Ballardini as Pinillas injuries cost Ballardini his job.
If you remember he was loaned to us by Palermo last winter with the right to redeem for like 3.5mil. It was expected that this redemption would take place soon after the season and with a June deadline that has passed, he is I understand it, still Palermos property. We all know he wont play for Palermo again and Cellino and Palermo boss Zamperini seem to have an understanding that he will be officially redeemed in early July. While he could be sold for a profit by Cagliari later this summer, I will be surprised if he is not redeemed and soon a full Cagliari player. Absent some big name transfers coming in, we need to keep him in Cagliari.
Probably Cagliari’s most valuable player in terms of potential sale value, he certainly has shown flashes of talent in his one year with the team. Ballardini smartly played him consistently knowing his talent would return dividends at some point and it did. With the return of Ficcadenti, he played less leaving him wondering where he stands with the club. With the budget issues, he could see a lot of time partnering Pinilla which would be a nice partnership. While it is expected he will move on at some point, its too early to sell him so we should enjoy him for one more year even if we are getting small but under the radar bids for him from big clubs who want to sign and develop him off their bench before he becomes too expensive.
He wants to return to Brazil. He is homesick and played lethargically last year. He did emerge for a time under Ballardini and even Ficcadenti tried to get him going the last part of the year. Cagliari must decide whether to redeem him by June 30th and the price tag from his Uruguayan club Rentistas is 5 million. Cellino will likely pay it and hopes he can squeeze a good year out of him and sell him for a profit next year. Riberio prefers to return to Braazil and if he is not redeemed by Cagliari, Palmeiras in Brazil will be his likely team.
Say goodbye to him as he heads to the Mexican league to play for Pachuca on a loan with a cheap purchase option. Larrivey is simply a stud player for a second tier league. He can score in Mexico and Argentina but not in Italy where defenders actually mark players so they cant show their skills. He wont be missed
Remember him. He wants to come back to Cagliari after an injury plagued season. He might be nice third or fourth striker, but if either the club or him sees him as a starter, we are not very good. His decision to come back will likely depend on what the club can get for him but he is nothing more then an insurance policy at this point.
So who is this you ask? Well it could be a sleeper to watch for Cagliaris strikeforce after scoring 20 plus goals last year in Serie B for Juve Stabia. He did the same in the lower level with Foggia the year before. The question is can he take such goal scoring prowess to the level of Serie A. At 24, hes still young but we need to find out what he can do quickly so keep an eye on him.
Rumors seem to abound he is going back to Sampdoria, but he is a signed Cagliari player and an important part of our future. Absent something strange I am not aware of expect him to start in midfield for us come fall and he has plenty of room for growth. An ideal Cagliari player in terms of talent v cost
Cagliaris current favorite son has two years left on his contract. While he has regressed he is still a helpful player and will start for us next year when a real decision will have to be made. Still a difference making player but not who he was two years ago.
Dont get me wrong as I like him, but I dont see how Cellino can sell him for what I would see his value. He is not a 15 mil player and Cellino wants 18 mil. Any bid over 10 mil is a gift as I see it. Cellino misread the market and probably could have sold him to Juve last winter for 15mil but his play in the spring was uninspiring and his value dropped as Juve lost interest. Russian teams have bid but Cellino may have misread the market and could hold on to him to see if he gains his up and coming form back for either a transfer next winter. I do think he will be sold this summer but if the market has dropped on him as it seems to be, Cellino will keep him to save face and to get another shot at a big profit. His future is as uncertain as any Cagliari player. If he is ultimately sold, Marco Parolo from Cesena will be the rumored replacement and he will cost a lot less even if there is not much difference between the two players.
We stupidly sold half of him last summer to Fiorentina last summer and his absence cost us. While he did not play all that great in Florence, his value in the right system is obious. While we hoped to renew the loan deal, Fiorentina wants full ownership but refuses a 3.5 mil payment Cagliari desires for the remaining half. Cagliari has valued him corretly so since no payment is coming, we could be headed to envelopes where the high bid wins. Cagliari has him valued correctly and if they are willing to bid what they value him for, hes coming back to Cagliari. I am guessing Cellino is bluffing and they either renew the loan deal or he just wants Fiorentina to overpay for him, which they will. I expect him to be in Florence as Cagliari never would have sold half of him if they wanted him back. Not one of our better moves so no reason to think we will correct it.
He did not have a good year last year due to injury yet has still received a 12 mil bid from Spartak Moscow which Cellino has turned down. There have been higher bids for him if you believe Cellino. With him on the fringes of the Azzurri and still being young, I think we need a full healthy year from him before you sell. Milan wants him and they want to buy him back before his price goes up. While he could be sold, I think he comes back unless a club who Cellino has a good relationship with their chairman offers a ton. He could very easily be packaged with Nainggolan to Milan for 30 million combined. The big buck bids are not likely to come from Italy so it may be the player and Cagliari are going to wait it out. We have gotten more years from him then we thought so another year would be a huge bonus.
Michele Canini et al
Some long standing players are definitely not coming back. With Canini entering his last year of his contract, Cellino wants to avoid another Biondini so Canini will be gone this summer maybe to Genoa. His long time defense partner Agostini is not coming back either so say good bye to our vice captain.
Currently co owned with Juve, we cant seem to come to a loan deal with them for another year. While I dont think we want to spend much to buy him, if it comes down to envelopes, Juve will spend enough to keep him. Until he proves himself a bit more, unless Juve is selling cheap, we need to do another loan deal. Cellino is meeting with Juve over him soon and I would expect it to be resolved with him coming back to Cagliari.
This is the year the former Juve man should emerge and he will be given every chance to show he is the next Astori. He showed inexperience and flashes of talent last year and since we fully own him, we will enjoy the good and bad that he will bring next year. He is an exciting player to watch for the future and we will be seeing a lot more of him so get ready.
There are not many rumors leading him out of Cagliari but he has done well following the Marchetti debacle. He should return next year and get better.
While other players like Conti, Erriksen, Rui Sampaio, Perico, Pisano et al will have roles with the club, its the above players whose status has to be solidified.
Its still early but the issues with these players need to be watched because if they leave, team will have a lot of scrambling to do. That being said Cagliari always makes moves at the last minute so its not easy to read into anything you hear or see at this point during the summer.