In a move that many critics of Italian football claimed was a few years too late, the FIGC finally put the kibosh on Italy's vaunted co-ownership system, wherein clubs would share the contractual rights of any given player, though it was usually reserved for prospects not quite ready for the larger stage. In order to ease this transition to modernity, Italy's governing body issued a one year grace period, in which existing arrangements could be settled and/or extended, but banned new agreements from being created.
So, now that we'll no longer have to face the dread of blind bidding and sealed envelopes, how did Roma fare in this transitionary phase?
Roma's 12 co-ownerships were settled as follows:
Antei (Sassuolo-Roma): renewed
Barba (Empoli-Roma): renewed
Bertolacci (Genoa-Roma): renewed
Caprari (Pescara-Roma): renewed
Lopez (Udinese-Roma): resolved in Udinese's favour
Orchi (Catanzaro-Roma): no deposit, resolved in Catanzaro's favour
Pettinari (Crotone-Roma): resolved in Roma's favour
Politano (Pescara-Roma): renewed
Sabelli (Bari-Roma): blind auction, resolved in Bari's favour
Sini (Perugia-Roma): resolved in Roma's favour
Stoian (Chievo-Roma): renewed
Verre (Udinese-Roma): resolved in Roma's favour
In the interest of time, we'll pull out a few of the more relevant players.
Luca Antei: Renewed with Sassuolo
We covered Antei at length earlier in the spring, so we won't dive too deeply into this one. Opinions remain split on Antei, with some factions believing he's done enough to warrant a place in Roma, while others believe his numbers are more an environmental factor than a sign of progress.
Count me among those who believe in this kid, but another year at Sassuolo certainly won't hurt him. Incidentally, now that the Neroverdi have retained Domenico Berardi (renewed) and Simone Zasa (bought outright, though Juve hold a buyback), don't be surprised if they compete for a Europa League spot.
Andrea Bertolacci: Renewed with Genoa
Another born and bred Roman on whom we've been seemingly waiting for years, but the Genoa midfielder is only 23-years-old, so one more year with the Grifone won't dull his sword. Bertolacci made 25 appearances for Genoa this season, as both a holding and attacking midfielder, scoring two goals along the way, completing 80% of his passes and averaging 2.1 tackles and 1.6 interceptions per match.
Midfield is always Roma's strength, so it remains to be seen how and where he'll fit in with Miralem Pjanic, Daniele De Rossi, Kevin Strootman and Radja Nainggolan, not to mention Roma's other midfield prospects, but he's certainly a promising young player.
Nicolas Lopez: Resolved in favor of Udinese
It's hard to know what to make of this kid, he certainly earned Zeman's faith, at least initially, but he never really presented a threat to Mattia Destro, Alessandro Florenzi or Adem Ljajic, so he was never really destined for Roma. Besides which, Tonny Sanabria may be a brighter prospect, depending on which publications you follow.
But Udine has a way of turning guys like Lopez into viable and valuable assets, so I wouldn't be shocked if they score a nice profit off him in a few years
Adrian Stoian: Renewed with Chievo
Another one it seems like we've been dwelling on for years, but Roma's Romanian will remain a Flying Donkey for another year. No big loss on this one, unless you're a moustache aficionado, then this one's gonna sting a bit.
Valerio Verre: Resolved in favor of Roma
Yet another born and bred Roman, Verre has been on our radar since 2011 and was even involved as a make-weight of sorts in the bizarre three-way transfer of Mattia Destro between Siena, Genoa and Roma. Verre was then used as collateral in the deal for Mehdi Benatia with Udinese. So, at least in terms of transactions, Verre's been invaluable to Roma.
Still just 20-years-old, Verre's two loan stints, first at Siena then with Palermo in Serie B, resulted in less than 30 appearances, so it would be a bit shortsighted to make any predictions or summations, but he has featured for Italy at the youth level for several years, so his name carries a certain amount of weight, but Roma's been burned by U-21 prospects before, haven't they?
Out of these 12 young men, it would seem that Antei and Bertolacci have the odds ever in their favor for a career with Roma. Nevertheless, Roma's arsenal of youth is awfully, awfully impressive.