While the ‘AS’ in AS Roma technically stands for Associazione Sportiva, in all practicality it should mean Always for Sale, as anything and everything not nailed down is fair game. First it was Mohamed Salah—and yes, kudos to Monchi for getting his €50 million asking price—but that move was packaged as an FFP appeasement, which, though tough to swallow, was ultimately accepted as the cost of doing business. But when Roma started slapping price tags on Kostas Manolas and Leandro Paredes, people started to question Monchi’s claims that Roma was not a supermarket.
Still, with visions of a combined €70 million floating past our eyes, people were reluctantly accepting and rationalizing the move. Imagine what Monchi could do with that money! Manolas is shit now anyway! Paredes, please, he’s so overrated. We’ve seen what the confluence money and the crowd mentality can do in other walks of life, but even something as trivial as sport is not immune to these deleterious effects.
Sure Manolas had a bit of a down year by his standards, but he’s been far and away Roma’s best and most reliable defender since he arrived several years ago, while Paredes adapted and survived Luciano Spalletti’s whims last year, finally cementing himself as a key rotation piece in the season’s final two months, so to see them dismissed so easily out of hand has been maddening for those of us who love, admire and appreciate them.
So, when Manolas gave Monchi and Roma the veritable middle finger after their attempt to ship him off to Russia, it was somewhat understandable. Thanks to Manolas intransigence, Roma have been stripped of what they crave most, money. It was only natural, then, that the club attempted to sell the next item on the shelf, Antonio Rüdiger.
In the immediate wake of Manolas’ refusal, the news shifted towards the Greek moving to England or, in the worst case scenario, Inter Milan, who were previously connected to Manolas. Well, it seems as though the rumor has pivoted once more. Sky Sport is now reporting that, not only has Manolas refused a move from Roma, but the club has completely shifted its priorities, preferring now to sell Rüdiger, whose agents are reportedly enroute to London to meet Chelsea ahead of a possible €35 million move.
While it would seem that the Salah sale satiated the FFP beast, for some reason, Roma are hell bent on stripping their defense of talent, cohesion and athleticism, replacing them instead with 29-year-old retreads.
Given this constant cycling of talent and the year-in-year-out shuffling of managers, it’s no wonder Roma can’t attract and retain top players.
But that’s the thing about supermarkets, no one wants to stay in them longer than they have to.