Antonio Cassano, the 28-year old Italian that has the sort of talent and skill on the ball that should put him in the same bracket as the best players in the world.However, the man Fabio Capello once nicknamed ‘Cassanata’ because of his short temper, could well be on his way to the free agent market at the time of his career where the former £20million-plus man should be one of the hottest properties in the game.
The former Real and Roma man had seemed to have found the perfect home for him with Sampdoria, even turning down a move to Fiorentina in January. Now though, following a row with president Riccardo Garrone over a missed awards evening, the Genoa based club have applied to a Serie A arbitration panel to have Cassano’s contract terminated.
So, if ‘the jewel of Old Bari’ is released, where will he be off next?
There is no question that Cassano has the talent to alert the biggest clubs in the world. However, the contract conflicts he had at Roma and now at Sampdoria, allied to the weight problems, poor performances and long running feud he had with Capello at Real Madrid will scare a lot of clubs off him.It is doubtful that he will return to Spain as his antics at Real will scare most clubs off and it is likely he will want to stay in Italy. The problem with that is whether anybody would actually want him in Serie A.
It is possible that he could go to Fiorentina, who wanted him at the start of the year, but it is considered that they still feel slighted by Cassano’s rejection back in January. The other possible landing place in Serie A is hometown club Bari. For that to happen, it would mean Cassano would have to take a substantial wage cut.
If Cassano is unwilling to do that, then Turkey, the UAE and the USA become realistic possibilities. Although, with an international re-emergence under new coach Cesare Prandelli, a move to those footballing outposts would kill that stone dead unless he gets assurances of his international place. This is unlikely considering his international exile under Marcello Lippi.
So, that leaves the wildcard of the Premiership.
Manchester City could well be interested in adding some extra creativity to take the pressure off Tevez, while his name might be enough to placate Rooney’s worries over United’s transfer ambition if Ferguson felt he could manage Cassano’s ego.
That perceived ego will probably put Arsenal and Liverpool off, while Spurs will see him as too similar to Van Der Vaart.
His spell at Sampdoria has increased the perception that he likes being the ‘big fish in a small pond’ which will put mid-table clubs with European ambition on high alert.
Where do you guys think he will land?
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