Okay, so much for the Wojciech Szczesny news. Apparently, under the cover of night, Roma have broken ground on a move for Chelsea's winger/legal morass Mohamed Salah. We won't rehash the whole Salah-Chelsea-Fiorentina fiasco, but it seems as though Walter Sabatini was able to play the role of The Decider, breaking this quagmire by brokering a loan with an option to buy deal with Chelsea for the 23-year-old Egyptian with speed to burn, though that option is most likely mandatory.
Mohamed Salah is close to joining Roma, there is finally light at the end of the tunnel. After negotiating with the Egyptian player's agents, Roma continues to talk to Chelsea to find an agreement. The deal is almost done, the giallorossi's sporting director Sabatini is pushing for a loan deal for €2 million with a forced option to buy at €20 million. New developments are expected in the coming hours.
Source: Gianluca Di Marzio
Adding further fuel to the speculative fire, Salah posted this ambiguous tweet:
Be ready to change your profile picture— Mohamed Salah (@22mosalah) July 23, 2015
Of course, he could be referring to anything. If he's like 90% of the people I know on social media, maybe he just got a new puppy or saw something hilarious at the store while he was buying ice cream, but chances are Salah just got his wish. Although Napoli and Inter were intermittently interested in him, Roma's Champions League position seemed to trump all of Salah's other suitors.
This deal carries enormous ramifications for Roma, both now and in the near future. In the immediate sense, this gives Roma yet another pacey winger. Granted, his auxiliary skills are probably a step above Gervinho, but in addition to the Ivorian, Salah joins Iago Falque, Adem Ljajic, Victor Ibarbo, Juan Iturbe and, depending on one's definition of his role, Alessandro Florenzi, on the wings. Walter Sabatini collects wingers like awkward tweens collected Pogs back in the 90s.
In the long run, this sets Roma up for an interesting invoice next summer. Add this €20m mandatory clause to their other mandatory and optional purchase clauses for the likes of Ibarbo, Szczseny, Uçan and Falque, and Roma are potentially on the hook for nearly €40 million next summer.
I simply have no idea how Rudi Garcia intends to rotate all these wingers. Given his love for Gervinho, or barring a massive change in philosophy, one would have to assume Salah and The Predator will get the starting nods, leaving Falque, Iturbe and Ljajic (a combined transfer value of, what, €40M?) on the bench, which is both a testament ot Garcia's intractability as a manager and Sabatini's ineptitude as a team-builder.
At this point, we have to hope that Walter Sabatini has a buyer lined up for Gervinho, otherwise we might as well rename the club AS Redundant.