Roma's search for a back-up and eventual successor to Edin Dzeko has been going on behind closed doors for well over a year now. While none of the names we were privy to last year (namely Mariano Diaz) have come to fruition, the tale end of 2019 brought two new intriguing names into the mix: Moise Kean and the inimitable Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
With Carlo Ancelotti taking over at Everton, and publicly expressing his admiration of young Kean, we can safely kiss those dreams goodbye for now. Zlatan, who has always seemingly been a sleeper Roma candidate since leaving PSG, recently signed for AC Milan, so if you were one of those 12,000 fans waiting for him at the airport for the past several years, it's time to go home.
But, Zlatan might yet save us all:
Sondaggio della #Roma per Krzysztof #Piątek. Il polacco punta a giocarsi le sue carte al #Milan, ma se dovesse partire l'opzione giallorossa sarebbe gradita a differenza delle ipotesi Genoa e Fiorentina già declinate. #calciomercato— Nicolò Schira (@NicoSchira) December 31, 2019
By virtue of gracing Milan with his presence, Zlatan may have paved the way for Krzystof Piatek to leave the San Siro. Piatek, 24-years-old, burst on the scene last year, scoring 13 goals in 19 matches for Genoa before moving to Milan in the winter and then scoring another nine goals in 18 matches. Piatek was one of the stories of the season last year, and looked like the next great Milan striker, which he very well might still be.
Piatek isn't scoring at quite the same clip this season, but with four league goals in 17 appearances, he is tied for the club lead in goals with Theo Hernandez. Still, the rumor mill waits for no man and Piatek has reportedly turned down moves to Genoa and Fiorentina already.
The latest twist in his finger pistoling saga has seen Roma reportedly make an inquiry for his services, one which, reportedly, has given Piatek pause to consider, presumably because of a certain egotistical Swede.
Milan just paid €35 million for Piatek, so he certainly wouldn't come cheap, but he's the right age and has a short but successful scoring record in the league, so as far as potential successors to Dzeko go, he might be a the top of the list.
But this rumor doesn't make a ton of sense for one simple reason: he'd be entering a nearly identical situation in Roma. Dzeko has two years remaining on his deal beyond this one, while Zlatan, at best, has 18 months with Milan, so either way he'd have a veteran to contend with for playing time.
So I suppose it boils down to which club he sees as the better project, which, come on, Roma all the way, Krzysztof.
Piatek leads Milan in minutes and goals, so unless there's something else going on behind the scenes, I'm not entirely convinced this rumor holds a lot of water, but from a Roma perspective, it's almost an ideal move (though we'd hope his passing improves a bit).