Last week in a surprise move, Monch, Roma’s new transfer empresario, signed Mexican defender Hector Moreno for a cool five to six million euros. It was, in many ways, a quintessential Monchi move; an underreported (if at all), low-risk, high reward signing, one that should give Eusebio Di Francesco remarkable depth along the backline. It barely made headlines, but you get the feeling Roma will come out ahead on that one rather easily.
While that’s all well and good, having moved to Roma, Monchi must now deal with an entirely different beast; the protracted and contentious transfers in which Roma seemingly finds so much delight. Enter Mohamed Salah to Liverpool.
After weeks of speculation, which started with Monchi requesting €50 million from any and all comers, it seems as though Liverpool and Roma have reached an agreement. While the Reds balked at the initial price tag, offering instead a paltry €32 million or so, they now appear willing to meet Roma’s slightly altered €40 million asking price.
While this would solve Roma’s Financial Fair Play woes for this summer, and does represent an almost €20 million in profit, you can’t help but think Roma are getting fleeced here, particularly when you see the figures being bandied about between Inter Milan and Manchester United for Ivan Perisic, who is both older and not as valuable as Salah (elite RWs are far more rare). If Inter can set a €55 million negotiation floor for Perisic, Roma should at least follow suit, if not bump it up a bit higher.
But I suppose that’s the price you pay when you dance with the FFP devils, eh? Salah’s sale marks yet another in a procession of high profile sales since James Pallotta’s “project” was ushered into town in 2011 (yes, we’re aware he wasn’t the original architect). Salah joins Erik Lamela, Marquinhos, Mehdi Benatia and Miralem Pjanic among the club’s dear departed.
I had originally planned to draw up a what if style starting XI, but at this point, it’s simply too depressing, but these are the steps you have to take when you waste money on marginal players, fail to qualify and/or advance in European competition and put all your eggs in one basket, a basket which is now being threatened by actual frogs.
The Roma supermarket has officially opened, cash only please.