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Toffee Nose, Bluenose, Fuck Knows – The Italian Years 4: Now is our Winter of Dis Content, yeah?

1st February 2021

“It’s that time again, boss!” Johnny said, sat in his usual spot. “Paolo will be in for his usual end-of-window briefing soon” Marcus nodded over the rim of his coffee cup. It was definitely that time. And Paolo was not one to be late

As if on cue, Paolo knocked and entered the office. “Buongiorno Marco! And Giovanni! How are we today?” Marcus smiled and gestured for him to sit. “So, it is that time of the year again, Marco. Tell me about January”

Marcus moved to hand Paolo the transfer balance sheet.

“This looks good for the balance sheets, but why should we not be listening to the fans on this one?” Paolo took his phone out and passed it to Marcus. It had one tweet on the screen.

Marcus handed the phone back and motioned to Johnny. “Yes, I see how the fans can see it. But, don’t forget, Kieran Dowell was a integral part of our Everton squad, making apperances in every competition for us. We need players we can rely on and for £5.75m + clauses, it was a decent deal. Also, don’t forget that Jake Weaver was bought by us from Arsenal’s youth team. We paid out then because we believed in his potential and we believe he can help now on loan.” Paolo shrugged “Of course, you are the management team and if you believe it to help, who am I to judge…”

Marcus nodded and affirmed the need for those players. “Who else?” asked Paolo. Marcus and Johnny exchanged looks. “Well…” started Johnny, “We may have overpaid on a loan deal for 17 year old striker Lucas Baccagilo from AS Roma. We’re paying £2m for the loan for the season for him to provide cover.” He saw Paolo grimace. Johnny continued hurriedly “We also picked up a trio of youth players on free transfers. Two Czechs, left-back Jiri Bilek and striker Tomas Sterba and a Belgian attacking midfielder, Stephane Da Costa. These will be lucrative later on if nothing else.

“OK, and the deals that didn’t go through?” asked Paolo. “Well, we had a £40m bid accepted for 19 year old Portuguese wonderkid Ronaldo Camara from SL Benfica, but we balked at his agent asking for £150k p/w, even with negotiation. We felt that Dowell was more cost-effective!” said Johnny.

“Fine. I understand this. Sales?” said Paolo. “Two major sales. Full back Andrea Conti’s contract was up at the end of the season and he had no interest in a new contract, so we had to arrange a cut-price £9.5m transfer to Chelsea before the window opened and we also sold our Brazilian midfielder Lucas Paqueta to Borussia Dortmund for £36m to clear space in the middle.” finished Johnny.

“OK, well you seem to be doing well enough so I trust you guys. Carry on!” Paolo shook their hands and walked out in a cloud of cologne. Marcus sighed and turned to Johnny, asking about their plans for next match…

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