Lost amid all the excitement of Roma's completely pointless friendly against Al Ahly were some subtle yet potentially significant updates to Totti Watch: 2016. While Francesco Totti played 90 meaningless minutes today, there were far more important matters evidently being discussed in Roma's board room. When we last spoke, word on the streets indicated that Roma had submitted a new contract for Totti's approval, reportedly a 1+6 deal in which Totti would play one final season for his beloved club before moving up stairs, so to speak.
In the ensuing week, Totti left the world hanging, leaving us to speculate on everything from wages to imaging rights to some sort compensation package for every assist that Edin Dzeko wastes. Those concerns, whether they were unfounded or not, were apparently allayed yesterday when Mediaset Premium reported that Totti and management had hashed out the remaining sticking points of this new deal, reportedly image and/or marketing rights for Totti's final match.
While that's all well and good, it's just as speculative as anything we've discussed over the past few months, but comments made by club director Mauro Baldissoni seemed to indicate significant progress has been made on a Totti renewal. Speaking prior to the Al Ahly friendly today, Baldissoni said unequivocally "Totti will continue to play for Roma and will be part of the Giallorossi family for a long time to come."
Just how long he'll continue to play and what role he'll assume afterwards remains to be seen, but most parties involved indicate we'll know for sure once club President James Pallotta arrives at the end of the month.
However, as we know all too well, nothing is real with Roma until it is...