Even with several years of covering them under my belt, the cycle of rumor-denial-rerumor never ceases to amaze me. New transfer rumors spring up seemingly every 15 minutes and are sometimes refuted just as quickly. Common sense, reason and rationality seldom rule the rumor roost, but even when they do, this sometimes pernicious and always preposterous cycle keeps chugging along--and yes, I realize the irony of me saying this given how much we talk about them.
But I digress. Given what we just discussed, it should come as little surprise that the club and some newly exposed information has pumped the brakes on Chelsea's Roman ransack. Antonio Conte's new employer was reportedly greasing the wheels for a triple swoop of Radja Nainggolan, Miralem PJanic and Kostas Manolas.
Just like yesterday's discussion, we'll start with Mr. Manolas. While the rumor in and of itself wasn't refuted, some previously unreported (or simply ignored) contractual details may stop this rumor dead in its tracks. As we mentioned yesterday, Manolas made the €13 million switch from Olimpiakos to Roma prior to the 2014-2015 season.
While this figure remains in tact, it turns out it's part of a rather convoluted payment scheme:
The Lupi paid €6.5m for 50 per cent of Manolas' economic rights in 2014, and are obliged to buy the remaining 50 per cent for another €6.5m if he is not sold before September 1, 2016.
However, if Roma sell Manolas on this summer, they must pay the Greek side the €6.5m, or give them half of the transfer fee "whichever is the greater"
The contract makes it explicit that Roma will owe a minimum of €6.5m, but will have to pay half of any transfer fee above that - "if the transfer fee is €10m, Olympiakos will still be eligible to receive €6.5m. If the transfer fee received by Roma is €20m, in this case Olympiakos should be receiving €10m".
This would therefore make it unlikely that Manolas will be sold this summer, as the Lupi can simply pay €6.5m to Olympiakos, and keep any future transfer fee for themselves
Never a club to leave money on the table, you can rest assured this lovely bit of legalese will keep Manolas in Roma for another season at least.
As far as the Pjanic to Chelsea rumors are concerned, James Pallotta wasn't one to mince words:
I try not to read too many papers, but it happens anyway. There's a lot of paper talk about players leaving, like Pjanic.
I rule that out categorically, he doesn't want to leave and we won't sell him. Even just talking about it hurts the team, I'm tired of these rumours
Stop me if that all sounds familiar, we heard nearly the same song and dance in regards to Mehdi Benatia, though not necessarily from Pallotta, but when this administration makes blanket statements like these they tend to fall on deaf ears.
Pallotta continued, albeit briefly, to talk about Roma's desire to hang onto their homegrown players, specifically citing Ezequiel Ponce, Umar Sadiq and Abdullahi Nura as assets worth keeping.
For now, at least, it seems as though the rumor cycle is following its natural course. However, as spring gives way to summer, we'll see how much weight Pallotta's words ultimately hold.