Italian Serie A News, Results, Analysis and Features on Football Soccer

Stuart Harper On June - 27 - 2011

Emiliano Viviano: Half A Bid, Half A Story

Signed, sealed and delivered it may have been, but Bologna’s bid for Emiliano Viviano was fatally flawed. Stefano Pedrelli - the Rossoblu General Director - contrived to make a mess of his club’s blind bid, allowing Inter to claim the Azzurri stopper as their own despite tabling an inferior offer.

But while the formalities are complete, the ripples from Pedrelli’s mistake will be felt across the peninsula as Viviano at the Giuseppe Meazza raises more questions than it answers.

Had Bologna’s unsuccessful bid proved successful it was common knowledge that Roma were primed to have bought the stopper during this summer’s mercato. Now, an unprecedented development has thrown Roma’s plans into disarray and it seems unlikely that the Giallorossi will now rekindle their interest.

The Nerazzurri undoubtedly have little interest with assisting Roma’s renaissance and already Luis Enrique is rumoured to be looking elsewhere – with Ajax keeper Maarten Stekelenburg cited as a possibility – the Stadio Olimpico side anticipating Inter will play a less sympathetic brand of ‘mercato hardball’ than Bologna.

So, while the capital club mull over their options, Inter’s new coach - Gian Piero Gasperini - has quite the dilemma; choosing between the storied stalwart and the future Azzurri number one. Irrespective of the circumstance, Gasperini has in Viviano an extremely capable keeper who, at the age of twenty-five, will improve further, while question marks begin to form over Juilo Cesar’s form.

While young in goalkeeping terms (Cesar is thirty-one), certain Serie A observers believe his abilities are on the wane, suggesting that Inter should maybe look to profit from Bologna’s unfortunate mishap and appoint Viviano as first-choice stopper.

If indeed Gasperini is a ‘statistics man’, then last season’s goals against column makes for some sobering reading - Inter conceded eighteen more goals than the eventual champions and although Cesar is not solely culpable, the numbers throw into doubt the Brazilian’s case for another term as the defacto keeper.

Conversely, if Gasperini is keen to maintain the status quo, keeping faith with Cesar will only agitate an already disorientated Viviano, who up until this weekend must have felt his future lay in the capital. Therefore, with genuine Azzurri ambitions, Viviano may well elect to demand a move away from Milan - rightly believing that he is too talented and the repercussions too damaging to idle away a season as an understudy.

Whatever eventuality does pan out, it would be a travesty to see Viviano relegated to the substitute’s bench and if Gasperini does indeed favour Juilo Cesar, we should see the young keeper loaned out if not sold - a development that would certainly be in the wider interest - most notably for Cesare Prandelli who should demand his young charge plays regular football.

Speaking of national duties, there will also be interest from Turin with Gianluigi Buffon almost certainly monitoring developments. With many expecting Viviano to usurp Buffon at some point, a successful Inter stint could only act as a catalyst to Emiliano’s ascendency, simultaneously serving to curtail Buffon’s stellar international career spanning the last fourteen years.

Ultimately however, from one very costly administrative error a tangled web has emerged and aside from the hapless Pedrelli, who will likely to pay the ultimate price, there will be beneficiaries and casualties to emerge from this bizarre episode.

After a stand-out season at the Stadio Renato Dell’Ara it is inconceivable that Emiliano Viviano spends next season as a spectator at the Meazza, therefore it is Gian Piero Gasperini who holds all the aces. The coach taking a pro-Viviano stance potentially means Cesar, Buffon and Roma could suffer, whereas all three could profit if Cesar convinces the new coach he should remain between Inter’s sticks.

Amidst all the intrigue and possibilities one thing is for certain, this story has some way to go before a conclusion is reached and as always, Serie A Weekly will analyse and cover every twist.

Stuart Harper

Freelance sports writer covering football, calcio & futbol. A Villa, Roma & Barca fan. Cycling too.

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