While the transfer market both entertains and annoys us, in this case we can be thankful it exists. The flurry of rumors, retractions and transactions we’ve witnessed over the past day or so has almost been enough to make you forget about Roma’s pitiful display at the Marassi yesterday...almost. But, as they say, the world keeps turning, and for us that means one thing...transfers!
Roma got the party started a little late this year, nabbing Clement Grenier, their first and, to date, only acquisition of the winter just last week. Since then, it’s been a tale of departures, as everyone from Kostas Manolas to Radja Nainggolan to Leandro Paredes has been the subject of speculative sales.
However, before we discuss the fictional, let’s focus on fact. Fact, Gerson is no longer a Roma player. What we first discussed several days ago has come to fruition: Gerson is on his way to Lille. Earlier today the two clubs agreed to a loan with an option to buy deal, one that could escalate to €18 million before all is said and done.
Now, I’ll try not too climb to high on my soap box, but this is exhibit Z in Roma’s inability to develop, or simply have patience for, youth players. Gerson has ALL OF 400 MINUTES to his name, yet Roma saw fit to throw the baby out with the bathwater, giving up on an adolescent prospect after only six months. Currently, there doesn’t appear to be any sort of buy back clause, making this perhaps Roma’s grossest miscarriage of youth.
Leandro Paredes & Kostas Manolas
Okay, bear with me for a second. The day started off with rumors that one of these two gentleman would be sold in the next 24 hours, with Paredes drawing the eyes of Liverpool and Juventus, presumably spurred on by Roma’s quest for additional midfield help, while the Manolas rumors were fueled by his reported frustration regarding his ongoing contract negotiations.
While all is quiet on the Manolas front, Lovely Leo has had himself quite the busy day, or more aptly the people talking about him have had a busy day. With the Old Lady flinging her change purse in Roma’s face, the were fears that Juve would land Paredes for €25 million plus incentives, as well as a reported offer from Liverpool. This was all exacerbated by Paredes’ absence from the first 85 minutes of yesterday’s match—after all, if a sale was imminent, they damn sure wouldn’t risk that by starting him.
So, offers from abroad, offers from Juventus and a conspicuous absence from the match yesterday. Certainly seems like Roma was up to something, right? Well, if you believe the papers, they were but for the saving graces of Luciano Spalletti, who reportedly put the kibosh on any deal for Paredes. Following that, Juve executive Beppe Marotta told Sky Sports that their market was officially closed.
I’m confusing myself as I furiously type all this out, but for now it seems as though cooler heads have prevailed, and that the calm, steadying presence Spalletti desires for his midfield is already in house, awkwardly wearing the #5 (something about that on a midfielder looks odd), but until this window officially closes, sleep with one eye open.
Kessie, Donsah & All the Rest
It wasn’t all goings today, as Roma’s pursuit of Franck Kessie and Godfred Donsah, among others, were among the headlines. Atalanta are holding firm on their €25 to €30 million valuation of Kessie, a figure that supposedly hasn’t scared Roma off, where that money might come from is anyone’s guess, but they appear up for it.
While the Kessie wheel keeps turning, Roma have keyed in on Godfred Donsah, whose agent admits the 20-year-old midfielder is enticed by the prospect of sitting on the bench and watching Radja Nainggolan. Meanwhile, Roma’s other long admired target, Fiorentina’s Milan Badelj, is refusing to negotiate a new deal with the Viola and is reportedly entertaining offers from Roma and Milan among others.
Got all that? Hopefully, because if today was any indication, tomorrow should be a doozy of a day. Stay tuned.