Archive for August 13th, 2007

Cassano-Sampdoria: done deal

Monday, August 13th, 2007

Antonio Cassano, age 25Well, looks like Italy’s most unachieved talent will be on its way back to the “old boot”. After a lengthy negotiation process, in which neither Real Madrid or Sampdoria could seem to find a “terrain d’entente”, the general managers of the two clubs Predrag Mijatovic (Real) and Giuseppe Marotta (Samp) may have come to an agreement. The talent from Bari will transfer to Sampdoria under a 1-year loan contract, at the end which the Italian club may choose to make the loan permanent (clause is set at 5m Euros).

Remains to be defined the monetary contribution of each club to Cassano‘s onerous yearly wage, which gravitates around €4.2m . The likely solution will be that Sampdoria will contribute to ~30% of the wage (1.2m) and Real will be paying the rest. It is unlikely that the player will accept a wage reduction, although he has repeatedly declared that Sampdoria is the only club he will transfer to at this point. So there is still hope.

The interest of both clubs in the transfer is two-fold. On the one hand Real Madrid are getting rid of a player whose disciplinary problems are strange to no one, and who over his time at the Bernabéu has become estranged with the coach, the team, and the supporters. On the other hand Sampdoria are acquiring an established technical talent in their squad, perhaps one of the biggest potentials Italian soccer has to offer, which should help replace the void created by the departure of Quagliarella to Udinese.

In addition, according to the article published in l’Espresso, a big advantage lies in the permanent deal clause undersigned by the two clubs. If Cassano fails to deliver this season, Sampdoria can ship him back to Real Madrid at zero cost. If on the other hand his form & potential explode and he reveals himself as the great player he truly is, he could become the most valuable asset of Serie A at the end of the season (and be worth well over the fee of €5m set by Real Madrid). Sampdoria could then decide to resell Cassano for a much higher fee, but would have to pay the Spanish club 30% of all transfer revenue in excess of 5m (so at least Real isn’t getting completely screwed in case of a Cassano-boom).

Either way, it will be interesting to see if Cassano can eventually realize that his amazing potential is going to waste if he doesn’t play, and that he’ll finally set his head straight. We all hope that he will, for Sampdoria’s and Italy’s sake.