We saw it with Ashley Cole just last week, but when Walter Sabatini gets something in his mind, he moves swiftly. Word first broke last evening that Roma may have hijacked Juan Iturbe from Juventus following the resignation of Antonio Conte, and here we are less than 24 hours later, and the club has already released the official announcement. And what an announcement it is.
Roma have landed Iturbe from Hellas Verona for €22m, with the possibility of as-of-yet unspecified add-ons in the amount of €2.5m, bringing the potential total transfer fee to €24.5m, a far sight from some of the figures bandied about over the past day or so. Though the final tally may rise further still, depending on the agent's take, which some are already estimating at 30%.
The official release makes no mention of any player being loaned to Verona either, so Alessio Romagnoli may lock down that third center back spot yet. But, for reasons both financial and tactical, one would imagine Adem Ljajic's brief tenure in Roma is drawing to a close, with the likes of Manchester United, AC Milan and Liverpool already courting his services.
And while €22m for any player is a hefty sum, let alone for one as young and untested as Iturbe, it is somewhat easier to swallow than the €30m figures we discussed yesterday, and the five year deal they gave to him is clearly an indication of their faith in his abilities, both now and in the future.
Walter Sabatini doesn't play around. Based on what we've seen from his solo act the past two years, I feel confident in saying that he is absolutely the Francesco Totti of football executives, hell, he probably even bites his thumb before exhaling cigarettes, too.