This was certainly one of the more memorable weeks in Roma's American chapter. The signing and showcasing of Juan Iturbe was nearly unprecedented, with the young Argentine receive a minute-by-minute social media unveiling and countless articles around the Romasphere. We discussed all the particulars of this transfer, the financial details, the tactical nuances and the message it sent to the league, but now that Roma is embarking on another American adventure, its time to see the kid in action.
However, with many, many weeks left in the transfer market, Walter Sabatini's work is far from done, so let's take a quick jaunt through Sunday's headlines.
The Juan Iturbe coup has seemingly not dulled Roma's desire for further reinforcements on the wing, and while some outlets reported earlier this week that the club and Xherdan Shaqiri had agreed to personal terms, the more likely and cost prohibitive option remains Monaco's Yannick Ferreira Carrasco. YFC is 20-years-old and made only 18 appearances for Monaco last term, so he is very much an unknown quantity, even to our resident Belgian.
Carrasco, at least in the short term, would very much be a depth move, one with tremendous potential, but unlike Shaqiri, I don't think we'd have to worry too much about grousing for playing time. Given his age, inexperience and relatively low cost, YFC wouldn't necessarily come with an expectation of an assured role.
Of course, if Roma really does have an in-road with Bayern Munich and Xherdan Shaqiri, that money has to come from somewhere. If we assume that the Champions League windfall constitutes the bulk of the Juan Iturbe transfer fee, the €20m or so needed to land Shaqiri would require the sale of a substantial player. And that somewhere, or more aptly, someone, is Mehdi Benatia.
If he gets his desired move to the EPL, Roma should land at least €30m, which would be sufficient to capture Shaqiri with enough left over to purchase a solid replacement for Benatia in the form of Rolando. I'm not sure what foot he is, but he's a solid defender and speaks Portuguese, so that should certainly help him mesh with Castan and Maicon, plus he has Serie A experience. Not an ideal replacement, but he wouldn't leave the backline in pieces, either.
This headline popped up yesterday as well, but its worth taking a second look. Through a somewhat convoluted and quintessentially Italian deal, Roma skirted the Non-EU limits last year by "giving" Leandro Paredes to Chievo in the short term, who technically held the loan deal with Boca Juniors.
Eschewing the gory details, Roma and Boca are essentially the stakeholders now, with the Giallorossi technically taking the Paredes loan from Chievo, which may or may not have a mandatory buy out close. Either way, this is an exciting move as many are already hailing him as Totti's eventual replacement, tactically speaking, of course.
I try to keep a level head around here, but now that Franco Baldini has his eyes on Mattia Destro, I'm sure you'll all join me in saying "Fuck off, Franco" I tend to gravitate towards Football Italia in most instances, simply because, you know, its in comprehensible English. But the fact that they suggest Roma are willing to move Destro due to the Iturbe purchase makes little to no sense; different positions and different roles, not to mention the fact that Destro is perhaps the most promising striker Italy has produced in over a decade.
If anyone is a make weight for Iturbe, its Benatia, but this appears to be a bit of wild speculation on their behalf, though the working dynamic between Sabatini and Baldini is fascinating. At this point, however, Franco should simply be happy to be employed, given how he screwed the pooch last season.
In a letter to the editor of Il Messaggero, Guido Improta, who is some sort of transportation bureaucrat in Rome, details the main pitfall to the Stadio della Roma, the transportation infrastructure, or lack thereof. While he doesn't diminish the stadiums potential economic impact to the city, he claims that substantial improvements are needed to make the project viable, particularly as it fits within the broader infrastructural framework of the city.
We'll end with a look at Roma's impending American excursion. In addition to their annual "Football at Fenway" meeting with Liverpool on July 23rd, Roma is competing in the International Champions Cup, because, you know, Roma are champions.
Misnomers aside, this should be an entertaining tournament. Roma kicks things off against Luis Van Gaal's newly renovated Manchester United side, during which Roma should attempt to convince the Dutchman that Kevin Strootman is cursed, incapable of playing football, has b.o., kicks puppies and is generally an a-hole.
From there, Roma heads to the Lone Star State to take on Real Madrid at the Cotton Bowl on July 29th, then wraps up group play against our old friends Inter Milan at the Link in Philly. While this is just another b.s. pre-season exhibition, there should be some serious talent on the pitch, so all things considered, it could be worse.
Incidentally, if any of you attend these, please feel free to post some pics and/or first hand accounts in our Fanposts & Fanshot sections.