We've done quite a bit of talking in the comments sections of this site about Leandro Damiao. The Internacional center forward is a young Brazilian international who is in very solid for in the Brasileiro, and by all accounts, he'd be a great addition to our squad. Like Sandro, though they play different positions, we'd have to bring him along slowly. Once he settled in, he'd probably be a class player.
Recently, the rumors that Harry Redknapp are interested in purchasing Damiao have resurfaced. Of course, the hangup here is that Internacional are unwilling to let him go until January, and for good reason. They're currently sitting in 7th place in the Brasileiro, seven points out of a Copa Libertadores position. They simply can't afford to give up their best player right now. It would be a terrible business and footballing decision.
I can wait, though. We all can wait. And the reason we all can wait is a one-time only market that Russia has created with their winning of the 2018 World Cup.
See, Russia used to play a summer schedule. This has something to do with Russia being a cold, miserable place. No one wants to put off the domestic league for a month or - god forbid - play through the World Cup while the World Cup is in the country. So, Russia had to change from their calendar to the normal European football calendar.
The way that they're doing this is by playing a season that spans a year and a half. Once December hits, the teams will have completed a normal 30 round season and will go into a winter break. When the teams return for the spring, they will be split into two groups, the champions group and the relegation group. The teams will only play each other, not the teams in the other group, home and away. This half season will determine who wins the title and who is relegated.
Of course, this will create an absolutely brutal 14 game schedule for all champions group teams. As the slate is wiped clean and all teams start from zero, a number of teams will feel that they have a chance at the title. Additionally, Russia has foreign player caps. This is where the one time only market comes in.
In January, Roman Pavlyuchenko becomes extremely hot property. Russian teams aren't necessarily willing to buy him now because, until January, they're not necessarily playing for anything. In January, the teams will need to re-tool and add depth for the gauntlet that will be the spring RPL season, and this could spark a bidding war for Pav.
So, we can wait for you, Leandro. Come in January for...I don't know...£15m. And we'll sell Pav for £8. And laugh all the way to the bank.
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