While AC Milan continues their assault on the Serie A offseason, brazenly skirting the boundaries of FFP impropriety, this time luring Leonardo Bonucci from Juventus, and in the process potentially ending their matriarchal dominance of the peninsula, Roma was laying in the weeds, talking about making moves and, for some reason, tweeting out a teenagers boarding pass. You know, typical Roma fare.
The day started off with a hiccup in the transfer of Matija Nastasic, with a reported three million separating Roma and Schalke, while midday brought us that wonderful James Pallotta charm we’ve all grown to love, and ended with Eusebio Di Francesco waxing on everything from Francesco Totti’s future, Roma’s transfer campaign and even his own Zeman-like tendencies.
For our purposes, we’ll focus on that middle bit, EDF’s insight into the club’s transfer ambitions. During a press conference today, Di Francesco summed up the state of the Giallorossi’s summer rather succinctly, saying simply, “We’ll try to buy a champion. That’s what we have to do.”
Of course, in the wake of yesterday’s juiciest rumor, everyone assumed EDF was alluding to Leicester City’s Riyad Mahrez, a pivotal player in the Foxes incredible run to the Premiership title in 2015-2016, a season in which he turned in an impressive 17 goals and 11 assists in league play. Mahrez, much like his club as a whole, took a dive this season, though, falling to six goals and three assists, while his per 90 minute statistics were down nearly across the board, with stark drops in successful takes ons, goals scored and chances created.
Still, Mahrez is only 26-years-old and has a Premiership trophy on his resume, so is he the champion to whom EDF alluded, or might there be someone else on the table?
We’ll soon find out, but let’s just hope he’s not lost among those 12,000 fans waiting at the airport for the last mega signing we were promised.
(To Di Francesco’s credit, he did add the important qualifier, try to buy)