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Roma Targeting Atalanta Keeper Marco Sportiello

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With Morgan De Sanctis another year older and with Wojciech Szczesny seemingly set to return to Arsenal in the summer, Roma are casting a wide next for their next keeper. The latest name on that list is Atalanta's Marco Sportiello.

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Whether its Mattia Perin, Simone Scuffet or Salvatore Sirigu taking their place, this much seems to be true: neither Morgan De Sanctis or Wojciech Szczesny will be starting between the pipes for Roma next season. While MDS was a major contributor to Roma's record setting 2013-2014  campaign, without the cover provided by Leandro Castan and Mehdi Benatia, De Sanctis' aging reflexes were a bit harder to hide last season. Szczesny, meanwhile, was always meant to be a one year rental, though with his torrid start to the season, many of us (myself included) thought Roma had found their long-term solution at keeper. However, after a few well documented hiccups and a few poorly chosen words about his permanent employer, Woj figures to be a one and done candidate.

So, to whom shall Roma turn this summer?

The aforementioned names, though all spectacular or soon-to-be-spectacular keepers, each come with caveats. While Perin and Scuffet are the names pursed on everyone's lips, with Buffon-like streaks of greatness potentially coming Roma's way for the next 15 years, they're a ways off from being reliable keepers, while Sirigu is still likely to fetch a hefty price tag, so we can't exactly put a bow on that one just yet.

Well, if the Corriere dello Sport is correct, we can add another name to that list, Atalanta portieri Marco Sportiello. The CdS claims Sportiello is not only one among many, but may be the cover to which Walter Sabatini referred last week when discussing next season's keeper.

Sportiello, 23-years-old, stands at roughly 6'3" (1.92m) tall and already has over 50 Serie A appearances to his credit, including 13 clean sheets while playing for Atalanta over the past three seasons. Sportiello's four clean sheets this season is tied for fourth league wide. Furthermore, among keepers who have at least six appearances this season, Sportiello's 1.17 goals conceded per 90 minutes is 9th in the league, while his 3.42 saves per 90 is third among that same sect.

Point being, Sportiello is already outperforming his age-normed expectations and may actually be the more shrewd investment for Roma, in terms of younger keepers.

But, this being Roma and all, we simply don't know what they will do--we just know that, whatever path they choose, they'll drag it out all summer. With the amount of in-their-prime talent on this team, would it make more sense to splurge on someone like Sirigu? Or should they double up on Sportiello and Scuffet, leaving the latter in the lower rungs while Sportiello's market price sky rockets?

I feel as though we've mentioned this many times before, but along with fullback, goalkeeper has been the bane of Roma's existence over the past several seasons. Once and for all, they just need a permanent solution.

Sportiello may not have the experience of Sirigu or the cache of Scuffet or Perin, but his career is definitely trending upwards and Roma may be wise to get on that train asap.