With Steven Gerrard’s Liverpool contract rapidly approaching expiration, it’s open season for the mischief makers in the rumour mill and they’re determined to maximise the opportunity.
First Manchester City were circling the Reds skipper, then there was an MLS link, now it’s Inter Milan, with new boss Roberto Mancini allegedly frothing at the mouth at the prospect of pocketing the 34-year-old on a free transfer.
A general preconception among the masses of those not in the know is that Serie A is a laughably slow-placed league where every team would sooner keep a clean sheet than score a goal, which would therefore suit an ageing maestro of Gerrard’s stature down to the ground.
Andrea Pirlo, who is likely to still be pulling on Juventus stripes after we’re all long gone, is savouring a dictionary definition Indian summer in the Italian top-tier and it’s not difficult to envisage his Liverpool counterpart performing a similar role somewhere in the kingdom of calcio.
His Anfield colleague Glen Johnson is also being tipped to make the move to Italy, with Roma reportedly interested, but making the switch would end in disaster for either player, as the raft of Premier League expats who fled England for an easy life in the land of spaghetti and olive oil will attest.
A lynchpin of the Manchester United defence for many a year, Nemanja Vidic joined Inter in the summer, but has endured a frustrating start to his Nerazzurri career.
In his first half-dozen games the Serb was sent off once, conceded two penalties and made two more errors that directly led to concessions.
Ashley Cole’s column-inch hogging Roma switch was a sensational one too, but his feet-up stint in Italy hasn’t gone as swimmingly as imagined.
The same tabloids who swooned over the ex-Chelsea man’s willingness to embrace foreign football, lauding him as an example to all British players, have already linked him with a move home.
He’s made just seven league starts in the capital, averaging a paltry 1.4 tackles and as many clearances per outing.
Micah Richards’ season at Fiorentina is going only marginally better than his last at Manchester City, turning out just three times in Serie A for a total of 163 minutes.
The plights of this trio should serve as a sufficient warning to the Liverpool twosome that calcio isn’t quite the veteran’s paradise it’s cracked up to be and they must revise their retirement plans post haste.