European Soccer

Morning Ticker: Chelsea eyes Robinho, Lampard in Italy and Lazio lands Zarate


A day after signing Portuguese midfielder Deco, Chelsea’s Brazilian makeover continues with word that Robinho is next on Chelsea’s list of transfer targets.

The rumor is an interesting one considering all the talk about Robinho eventually being part of a Cristiano Ronaldo swap, but with the Ronaldo rumors cooling, Real Madrid might be making the next step in its own makeover.

According to reports, Robinho is upset about the Ronaldo swap rumors and is now ready to leave Madrid. With Chelsea the one team capable of affording him, it looks like he will be heading to London if he goes anywhere.

Mourinho says no Lampard to Inter..yet

Call Jose Mourinho the Phil Jackson of soccer. He plays more mindgames than Hannibal Lecter and is back to his masterful self with regards to the Frank Lampard to Inter rumors. Rather than just keep quiet, Mourinho publicly stated that he sees Lampard signing with Inter next summer, when his contract expires, but not this summer, because he doesn’t think Chelsea will sell him.

What’s the point? Mourinho is stirring the pot and putting pressure on Chelsea to sell or else risking losing Lampard for nothing in a year. With Deco’s arrival to an already loaded midfield, Lampard will have a tough fight for playing time and some reports suggest he might spend his last year at Chelsea wallowing on the bench. I don’t buy that one, but I also don’t see him sticking around Chelsea either.

And does anybody really buy Lampard’s "I’m just on vacation" talk? Right Lamps, you can go anywhere in the world for vacation and you just happen to be in Italy? Apparently Lampard and (big) Ronaldo went to the same school of excuse making.

Lazio close in on Zarate

Argentina Under-23 star Mauro Zarate is close to a deal with Roman club Lazio. The young striker spent half a season on loan with Birmingham, but will now join a Lazio strike force in dire need of some depth.

Now I’m not going to go as far as Lazio president Claudio Lotitto, who said Zarate will be better than Lionel Messi (crazy talk), but I do think Zarate could be one of the surprises of the Serie A season.

Share your thoughts on these stories, and any other stories from this morning or yesterday, in the comments section below.

  • mig22

    Don’t you just love Mourinho? If not a football coach, he would have been a spin doctor for political campaigns. And his candidate would win, of course.


  • Adam

    @oracledba — oh you mean Deco won’t have the lucky deflections and take all the pks that Lamps does?


  • Ives

    Settle down Steve. Italy is beautiful, it’s just a heck of a coincidence, and it isn’t like Lampard couldn’t have changed his vacation destination to avoid the drama.


  • oracledba

    its not the quality, its the quantity

    as a united fan, i would be happy to see lampard off to italy


  • Jerry

    lol @ adam, no oracles actually right he wont get 20 goals at chelsea more like 10 goals and 20 assist lol anyteam who would not love to have Deco on their squad is a fool


  • FrancoS

    A young star like Zarate is exactly the type of player on which MLS should bet. He was ready to go Al Saad a couple of years ago. Can you imagine what kind of impact could he have in and out of the field?

    I heard explanations about why MLS don’t pay transfer fees, but I still don’t get it. It does not make sense anymore if they want to grow.

    I really hope that when all the teams will have a stadium this limitations will be waived.


  • Jeff

    This would be great for Lazio, but will Lotito actually spend some money for a change? After losing Bianchi, we need somoene to partner up with Rocchi. I think Pandev is best as a second striker behind the front two. Next up a goalkeeper under the age of 40! Forza Lazio!


  • kpugs

    I wonder what all those Chelsea fans accusing the other “big” teams of buying titles a few years back are saying now?

    I mean at this point they are just making a mockery of literally every team on the planet.

    No surprise with Zarate…I thought it was hilarious he ever landed at Brum int he first place, it’s definitely no shock that he’s off to greener pastures.


  • kpugs

    Personally I’d love to see Lampard out and Deco in. Jerry can jump on the bandwagon all he wants but Deco peaked two seasons ago.

    Sure, he’s still very good. But he’s no Lampard, and he’ll only get worse as time goes on. Another aging underperforming highly paid star at Chelski is just fine with me.


  • andacagar

    Zarate is no joke, that kid can play. I cant wait to see him on the Argentine selection team. He was supposed to go to Boca but Lazio opted for him because Palacio was taking too long deciding if he wanted to sign with them.


  • mig22

    Kpugs: I’ve said it before regarding Chelsea. Their 2+ year spending spree merely equaled the playing field with ManU and Liverpool. Those two clubs have spent so much money over the years it’s crazy. ManU wins 8 out of 11 titles with the most expensive roster in the Prem (by a mile) and nobody complained (very loudly) then. Real Madrid spends more money than anyone. The Milans are money pits too. So what? Still need product on the field.

    Chelsea’s acquisitions this off-season will not be a spending spree. It will be targeted to what they need. A replacement for Lampard or hedge against yet another Ballack injury, a right back, and a striker. Bench players/low end starters will be transferred elsewhere. What is the big deal?


  • mig22

    and besides Shevchenko, who is an aging, underperforming player on Chelsea?


  • Hincha Tim

    With Deco and Robinho the first wave of Brazilian imports to Chelski is Ronaldinho far behind?


  • mig22

    You know, I don’t think so. Unless Chelsea will get rid of Cole and Malouda. Of course, it depends on the price. Some Chelsea posters were kicking around how much Jar-Jar would be worth. I said maybe $25M IF you needed someone at that position. His attitude and health are such huge questions that I can’t see him going for top money.



  • Hincha Tim

    I remember Scolari at one time was really wild about Roni and Deco playing together, commenting that together, they “can make the rain fall” or something like that (if I remember right).


  • LJ

    “you can go anywhere in the world for vacation and you just happen to be in Italy?”

    If I was given the choice to go anywhere for vacation, I think I would choose Italy too. It’s not like he chose Dayton Ohio.


  • William the Terror

    All these transfer “rumors” are making my head spin. You’ve got Lampard to Inter, Abedayor going everywhere, C. Ronaldo going nowhere and Ronaldhino, well, who knows. I even hear that ESPN is thinking of transferring Ives to Vogue magazine, or maybe “Teen Vogue.” Can somebody get me some correct info??


  • mig22

    Ives will be a guest columnist for Teen Vogue. I can say with 100% certainty by the 2009-2010 publication season, he will writing for them. Tee hee.


  • Matt


    MLS does not offer transfer fees due to the simple fact that they can’t afford them.

    It has been proven again and again that fans do not come out to see foreign “stars”. Probably 95% + of MLS viewers have never heard of Zarate. Therefore no one will come out just because he is one of the 22 guys on the field.

    There is no ethnic draw for Argentines (even Mexican players usually don’t draw much. How many Mexicans show up to see Davino in Dallas?)

    Though Zarate may be an excellent player in MLS, he would not return a single dollar on the multi-million transfer fee or his million dollar + salary.

    It would all go down the drain on a MLS team that is probably losing money anyway.

    The typical MLS team brings in about 15 million total revenue and spends about 20 million. Only about 10 million of the revenue is ticket sales/concessions.

    Zarate’s signing would literally require him to double attendance. Given that, again, 95% of all MLS fans have never heard of him (Much less would sprint to buy season tickets if they had heard of him), paying a multi-million dollar transfer fee on top of his multi-million dollar salary doesn’t make sense.

    In Europe or Latin America, the sport’s following (Attendance and Revenue) justifies spending vast sums for players. With massive TV revenues and Champions/Eufa tournaments, that money spent on a fine young player may see a return.

    In the US, every additional dollar spent will not likely be returned in increased attendance/TV revenue/Concession/Jerseys.

    Soccer is a distant fifth in a crowded sports market. We’ll have to build attendance (probably slowly)before MLS can start paying transfer fees for the right to pay players more money.

    I know it is chicken or egg situation but that is what the US soccer market is.


  • Nick

    Zarate is not in the same universe as Messi. He will be lucky if he ever sees the field for Argentina as a starter for the full national team in meaningful competitions.


  • Ken

    Thank you Nick, whoever compared Zarate to Lionel must have been smoking crack. And I like Zarate but come on. He has some skills and is a useful player but he’ll be lucky to ever see time with the full NT IMO.


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