The transfer window has only been open a couple days now, and as one would expect, the rumors have been pouring in at an alarming rate. At this point in the game, it’s simply too soon to tell which rumors are valid and which are rubbish. Today alone, Roma was privy to several rumors connecting them to a swath of attacking players, while the English continue their lust for Kostas Manolas. With several, specific needs on the squad propelling these rumors, and with the sword of FFP dangling over their heads, don’t count on these “stories” abating anytime soon.
All that being said, let’s take a quick turn through the rumor mill. First up, the man of the moment, Milan Badelj. Fiorentina’s 27-year-old Croatian midfielder is a relatively hot commodity on the Italian market as several clubs, including (ironically or fittingly) Milan. Badelj isn’t exactly the out and out attacking midfielder Roma needs, but his addition would certainly give the club an incredibly stout and incredibly deep midfield. Of course, his agent came out and denied any club has made contact for his client, so, yeah...so much for that.
Moving the story northwards, Roma’s hopefully interim Director of Sport, Ricky Massara, was spotted in London today, presumably to open negotiations with/gauge the interest of a variety of English clubs. Most notably, Massara was believed to have met with Chelsea regarding their 20-year-old Belgian winger/attacking midfielder Charly Musonda, who has recently returned from a rather fruitless loan spell with Real Betis.
Massara was also rumored to have met with Everton regarding another young continental forward, Spainard Gerard Deulofeu. The 22-year-old would seem an ideal short term replacement for Mohamed Salah, given his ability to play on either wing, which may explain Roma jumping ahead of Milan for his signature. While this remains a rumor, Sky Sport Italia claims that Roma’s willingness to make the purchase permanent may grease the wheels with Everton. Because you simply cannot have enough wingers.
Outside of Badelj, it is a bit troubling that every name connected to Roma are kids who might come good some day. While this is all well and good, young twenty-somethings with little to no experience in Europe, let alone in Serie A, don't’ exactly hit the ground running, so where is the immediate benefit? Roma has been down this road many, many, many times before only to be left holding the bag when these kids struggle and/or completely flame out.
Equalling troubling are the reports that Manchester United are willing to pony up €40 million for Kostas Manolas. With their pursuit of Benfica’s Victor Lindelof hitting a wall, United have turned their attention to Manolas, and considering their desperate attempts to regain relevance, not to mention the sheer ego of the man running the club, we should consider this a viable threat.
Suffice it to say, losing Manolas at any point would be a tremendous blow, but to see him shipped off in the middle of the season, as far fetched as that might be, would be devastating to this club’s chances of hanging onto second place.
Those are the rumors for today, no doubt there will be about two dozen new ones before Roma’s Sunday encounter with Genoa.