Tuesday, 5 January 2010

A Long, Hot Summer

Slow news week. A minor inconvenience for Argentina's premier sports daily Olé who still have column inches to fill. We've discovered that Napoli and Argentine midfielder Jesús Dátolo has posed for Italian gay magazine Romeo Mag, his club we're informed aren't happy as one of the pictures features the hallowed Napoli shirt. Other fillers include a section encouraging fans to send in summer holiday snaps featuring their sporting idols, San Lorenzo's Diego Simeone leaves very little to the imagination in a minute pair of Speedos, enough to put many a reader off their medialunas.

Back to the football - new signings are thin on the ground at the time of writing. One absentee, Santiago Silva (once) of Banfield has failed to join the champions for pre-season training. The Apertura's leading goalscorer seems to be heading back to Velez who own half his contract. Banfield's president Carlos Portell is unwilling to pay $2.5m for complete ownership of the striker's contract - Estudiantes or River beckon. Teams are limited to four new recruits each during the summer break and most are a long way from nearing this limit. Financial constraints once again have helped to stifle the market, we're all aware this is a global economic slump and as such buyers from Europe are few and far between. Without revenue from the old continent the perilous state of Argentina's top clubs becomes all the more acute. Figures recently released show that only five of Primera A's 20 clubs are in the black, it'll be interesting to see if the Government's handout in exchange for TV Rights makes any difference in the months to come. No surprises that both Boca and River occupy first and third places respectively in the debtors list. Arrivals may be borne of necissity, Diego Buonanotte will be absent from River for months following his car crash - his physical injuries will heal but the mental scars will last for a long time and he may never be the same player again. Of a less serious nature is the the knee injury suffered by Boca Juniors' midfielder Sebastain Battaglia which will rule him out for the duration of the Clasura. One player who looks to be heading to Europe is 19 year old Eduardo Salvio of Lanús after being touted around he seems to favour Spain and if reports are to be believed Atletico Madrid will sign him. Ironically Lanús are one of those rare exceptions - a well run, solvent club whose existence doesn't depend on this transfer going through. Salvio's arrival at the Vicente Calderon could see Sergio Aguero move on.

The provinces this weekend will be graced by the big clubs as the various tradional Summer Tournaments get underway; a few clásicos of varying descriptions and a couple of superclásicos will take place this month before the proper games start at the end of January. Olé will then have someting to write about - and so will I! Finally Verón has put his heart and his family ahead of a lucrative move to Manchester City and will stay at Estudiantes. One spell in Manchester regardless of the team would seem to be enough for Seba .

Hot!!? Jesus Datolo's photoshoot: