Roma's summer transfer campaign--which, mind you, hasn't even officially started yet--has been far ranging. Besides tracking upwards of 30 defenders, Walter Sabatini and friends have recruited a new keeper, sold off Miralem Pjanic and are currently trying to bilk a few extra million out of an Edin Dzeko sale. I went on record late in the spring saying that the club's top priority this summer should be redeeming Stephan El Shaarawy, and while the intervening weeks have shifted the club's priorities somewhat, I stand by that claim.
Since the end of the season, we've covered nearly every turn of the El Shaarawy saga. From the FFP/June 30th concerns, to Milan's June 22nd ultimatum, to Gianluca Di Marzio's claim the deal was done, we've seen nearly every permutation the transfer cycle can offer. Except for one: the player swap.
Last week's controversial Miralem Pjanic sale, which would seem to alleviate the club's FFP concerns, revealed one thing--the fan's overwhelming faith and optimism in Leandro Paredes' burgeoning abilities. While the club hasn't overtly echoed the fans cries of joy over Paredes, they have brought him back into the fold, which would certainly signal a faith in his abilities.
However, where the average Roma fan sees Paredes as the second coming of Andrea Pirlo, the club's relative silence on his future, particularly in the wake of Pjanic's departure, could be damning. Which brings us to Sunday's rumor; the speculative Paredes for El Shaarawy swap, as if Milan doesn't have enough of our former players.
Football Italia has picked up on an Il Tempo story that speculates Milan could be tempted to reduce El Shaarawy's price tag and/or swap him for Paredes, particularly if Marco Giampaolo, Paredes manager at Empoli last season, takes over the Rossoneri bench.
Considering how well each kid played for their respective new clubs last season, the foundation for this rumor isn't quite as insane as it may sound on the surface. But is it worth it? Has El Shaarawy put all his past problems behind him? Or on the other hand, are we so certain that Paredes offers better value in the long run?
So what do we think? Is offering Paredes for El Shaarawy a good idea, or should they just cough up the cash and get El Shaarawy full stop?