Approximately 12 days ago, we passed along a report from transfer guru Gianluca Di Marzio that stated, in no uncertain terms, that Roma was ready, willing and able to redeem Stephan El Shaarawy from AC Milan, presumably for the previously agreed upon price of €13 million. Several weeks prior to that story, we detailed the fine line Roma must walk in redeeming El Shaarawy, principally because of Financial Fair Play sanctions that may or may not exist. Whatever the reality was or is, it was widely assumed that Roma had to retain El Shaarawy by June 30th.
Not so fast, says AC Milan honcho Adriano Galliani. Not only did Uncle Fester come right out and deny any sort of good faith discount for Roma, he went ahead and pushed up the deadline a full eight days. Speaking to Mediaset late in the week, Galliani discussed the ongoing negotiations:
It is very simple and not a problem for us. The date is June 21-22, so if Roma want to activate their option and buy El Shaarawy then they will, we are not open to negotiation. If Roma do not buy the player at the agreed conditions, then he will return to us and it will not be a problem. Let us not forget that in 2012-13 El Shaarawy scored 15 goals in the first half of that season, then Mario Balotelli arrived and picked up the slack. Stephan had a few injuries, but he is a great player and we are not worried. We'll talk to Roma and they have the right to buy him. If they do not exercise that right, he'll return to us.
Pretty straightforward stuff from Galliani, though you have to love the completely unnecessary and unprovoked dig at El Shaarawy--yeah, that won't make for an awkward return to the San Siro, will it? If Galliani is correct about the deadline, and as a Milan exec, we should hope that he is, then Roma really needs to get their ass in gear.
This is one move they can't afford to delay. Given all that he proved during his six month loan spell, his age, and his seamless fit into Luciano Spalletti's attack, getting El Shaarawy for a mere €13 million is an absolute steal--he could easily be worth twice as much a year from now.