There was once a time when Serie A was once considered the best division in the world, but the summer transfer window of 2014 has confirmed it has now officially lost its sparkle.
Italy’s top flight has seen Juventus dominate in recent years, with the malaise of both Milan clubs contributing to what has been one of the most uninspiring transfer windows in recent memory.
Those unwanted in the Premier League have sought a move to Serie A to rejuvenate their careers – something which was unthinkable just eight years ago where the national team's performance at the World Cup left the rest of the planet envious.
Snubs and sales
One reason why the best teams in Italy have had to settle for second fiddle is the fact that the biggest available names in world football have opted for elsewhere.
Alexis Sanchez was a reported target for Juventus before the Chilean’s stunning move to Arsenal, whilst Germany midfielder Christoph Kramer has shunned the advances of Napoli to remain in the Bundesliga.
Last season’s golden boot winner Ciro Immobile left Torino to replace Robert Lewandowski at Borussia Dortmund, whilst question marks remain over the future of Arturo Vidal who has tickled the fancy of Louis van Gaal at Manchester United.
Paul Pogba has also attracted the interest of Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea, and any more high profile departures from Serie A would serve as the latest blow to Italian football.
The players that the superpowers of Italian football have signed this summer are not exactly marquee, and fail to rouse the same sort of interest and intrigue as transfer business in other leagues.
Patrice Evra and Alvaro Morata were lured to Juventus having both found their positions at United and Real Madrid under scrutiny in the wake of new, exciting additions at both clubs. Roma finished as runners up last campaign but the signing of Ashley Cole, though perhaps wise, was another indication of the top teams in Italy searching for those unwanted in England or Spain.
The former Chelsea defender signed on a free transfer having been deemed surplus to requirements under Jose Mourinho with the Portuguese moving for Filipe Luis as a replacement.
Napoli will be content with the fact that they snared Michu from Swansea City but, though he initially hit the ground running, his second season in Wales saw his form drop drastically as injuries took their toll.
Gary Medel has signed on at Inter Milan, Champions League winners just four years ago, having just been relegated with Cardiff.
The Chilean struggled to adapt to English football and will move to Italy to try and return Inter to the European stage, with the Italian club having failed to qualify for the Champions League last season.
Serie A weak
Some will say that the division is going through something of a transitional period, but the simple fact remains that financial restrictions are hampering the transfer business of those within Serie A.
Only time will tell whether the league can regain its sparkle or continues to be a graveyard for Europe’s unwanted.