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El Shaarawy to Roma for a Potential €13 Million?

The weekend kicks off with another round of Stephan El Shaarawy rumors, the latest of which will see Roma take the Milan castoff on a six month loan.

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You may have noticed that we tend to title these sorts of pieces "Reports: So and So to Roma for Such and Such", which is our quasi-journalistic attempt to remain objective, neutral and non-committal, but the ironic part is, at least in terms of transfer rumors, one's access to those reports is limited only by one's imagination and boredom. So, you'll have to excuse the lack of concrete updates or confirmation it this latest "report"

Nevertheless, we've followed the Stephan El Shaarawy-to-Roma saga since his name first popped up in a straight swap deal for Mattia Destro last season, so we might as well keep the bullshit spewing. While El Shaarawy's days with Milan are assuredly done, Roma has shared headline space with everyone from Genoa to Bournemouth battling for the Pharaoh's services.

The latest bit of news, such as it is, will see Roma take El Shaarawy on a six month, €2 million loan with an option to buy for €13 million (though there is no word if that's 2+11 or 2+13). However, the good part of this deal, if indeed it does come to life, is that the option is just that, optional. Whether or not that option is compulsory, €2 million is a hefty price for a six month loan, so unless he completely falls on his face, you can rest assured Roma would exercise that option--six months with a new team, who themselves are adjusting to a new coach, isn't exactly the best environment in which to judge a player like El Shaarawy's long term suitability for Roma.

As far as gambles are concerned, Roma seldom strays into this realm of uncertainty. El Shaarawy's innate talent is undeniable and he is still just 23-years-old, but we have to face reality; much of this kid's reputation was built off an incredibly hot six-month stretch in the fall of 2012--three-and-a-half years, many disappointments and several injuries ago.  But in fairness to him, things really went belly up once Milan brought Mario Balotelli into the fold.

Ultimately, potential and reputation can only carry SES so far, at some point he'll have to start producing, so this is, despite his previous accolades, a gamble in the highest order--€13 million is just too much to pay for a simple Gervinho replacement.

But there is always that temptation. If El Shaarawy can stay healthy, and if he can adapt and thrive in Spalletti's system, €13 million will be just another drop in the bucket.

Given the timing of this rumor and Milan's denials and obfuscations, don't expect the much rumored Monday medical to happen, but this does seem to be picking up an awful lot of steam. Stay tuned.