We are all aware of the websites that report the first reports just so that they can say they reported the first report. Some call them "exclusives," others just go off of one source and the snowball builds quickly until it is taking over the internet and cannot be stopped.
As I posted on Twitter earlier in the day on Wednesday, I reported an earth-shattering exclusive which I expect everybody to have seen.
EXCLUSIVE: Dimitar Berbatov can't make up his (insert expletive here) mind.
I'm a genius. This reporting thing is really something I'm good at. I should try to get into that kind of stuff for a living.
Wait a second.
In all seriousness, though, what we witnessed is something I've never seen before. Berbatov agreed to terms with Fiorentina, only to back out on them, allegedly never showing up to the airport as he left Viola officials standing there twiddling their thumbs. Then he looked all set to go to Turin, only to make another U-turn and stay in England.
Got all of that? I hope so. Excuse me while me head explodes.
Wednesday was, well, a complete and utterly confusing day. It's the third-to-last day before the transfer window and things are expected to a little more unpredictable than usual, but the past 18 hours completely surpassed that. I'm trying to think of proper words that will do it justice, but I just can't because it was that strange.
Berbatov was a Fiorentina player. Then he was a Juventus player. Then he decided to stay in England and sign with Fulham. It's one hell of a chain of events — and if you followed it on Twitter like yours truly, it was even more chaotic and completely confusing at the same time.
What we do know is this: Juventus are still without that top-flight striker everybody wants. This squad, as it currently stands, is still the best in Italy. I don't think there's any denying that. But when it comes to winning in Europe, when it comes to competing for that beautiful trophy with the big ears, Juventus needs the out-and-out striker other contenders have.
This isn't ground-breaking news — it's something we've known for what is two summers now. But still we wait, wondering whether or not Beppe Marotta can shed the notion that so many people are criticizing him for right now and sign the big-name striker we all know Juve needs to compete with the elite of the elite in the Champions League.
It raises the ultimate question: What the heck are Juve going to do with two days remaining in transfer season?
My insider answer: I have no freaking clue.
If anything, this transfer window has taught us that, as much as we hate it, money is what's driving the footballing world right now. Even if a player is in the last year of his contract (hello, Fernando Llorente), clubs want good chunks of cash for in-demand players. Not everybody is an Arturo Vidal kind of bargain. Finding steals like Andrea Barzagli isn't exactly an everyday occurrence. Some players cost a lot, some command even more in salary demands. There's nothing we can do about — and that's the unfortunate truth.
Juventus aren't Manchester City, Real Madrid or P$G when it comes to endless amounts of money they're able to flash in prospective players' faces. They can offer the allure of a great club that is back to the winning tradition it is known best for, but sometimes it is money that talks. And as we've come to see with Marotta, long-winded bidding wars between other clubs isn't his cup of tea.
This doesn't exactly relate to Berbatov per se, but it's pretty Juve wouldn't have gone after him if Marotta was able to land a striker before the season started. Now, with under 48 hours left, he's still on the hunt and checking Berbatov off the list of strikers he thought he might be able to land.
Sure, you can complain all you want that he hasn't delivered a striker that can come through in the Champions League. I know after today that seeing this 'top-striker' drama go on for another day annoyed me a little bit more than usual. Do I want Marotta to hand in a letter of resignation right now? No. There's still time. It may be hard to believe right now, people, but there's still time. Not a lot of it, but still time to do something.
If all of this means Juventus are stuck with Nicklas Bendtner as the final option for a new striker because Berba said no to Juve, the banging of my head on the wall is going to turn in things being thrown and holes being formed shortly thereafter.