With further FFP sanctions looming over their heads, and with Kostas Manolas refusing a move to Zenit St. Petersburg, Roma were up against it—having to raise a still uncertain amount of funds before the close of business on June 30th, or at least we think so. Either way, Antonio Rüdiger takes Manolas’ place as Roma’s second sacrificial lamb, as multiple media outlets report that Roma’s gregarious German center back is on his way to London.
It’s not quite the double €70 million sale Monchi envisioned earlier this week when he was tempting Zenit with both Manolas and Leandro Paredes, but hauling down a potential €38 million for Rüdiger, a man with multiple knee issues, is pretty impressive.
We’ve already made our stance on Roma’s supermarket sweep known several times over, so we won’t go back to that well, but if Roma had to sell one of Manolas or Rüdiger—and we’re still not entirely sure why they did—Rüdiger is the safer sale in terms of mitigating the bite you in the ass later factor. While he’s undoubtedly talented, and showed no actual signs of wear or tear late in the season, the chance is still there, the chance that the knee issues that plagued him the past (ACL and meniscus) could rear their ugly heads later on down the road. Manolas may not be perfect, but his injury history is relatively sterling compared to Rüdiger.
As far as the larger issue is concerned, the partial dismantling of a club record breaking team and the looming Manchester United-Radja Nainggolan threat is concerned, we may not get the full picture until next season. While the Mohamed Salah sale seemingly solved Roma’s FFP woes, the fact remains, Roma is chasing revenue, but for what? Are they lining up a corresponding sale or simply trying to hedge their FFP bets for next season?
Whatever the answer may be, it’s coming at the cost of continuity and talent. Manolas and Rüdiger gave Roma one of the most athletic central pairings in the world, one that was becoming increasingly familiar with one another, and now that’s gone, leaving Roma’s backline in the hands of Manolas, who is admittedly coming off a down year, Federico Fazio, who definitely wilted down the stretch, and Hector Moreno, a 29-year-old journeyman. Yikes. Oh, and also, we have no left back.
Monchi’s first month at the helm has been busy and controversial, who knows what July will bring.