Roma and upheaval go together like peas and carrots, fish and chips or an entire thing of oreos and milk. As much as we talk about rearing youth and developing some shred of continuity. Roma often does, you know, the opposite. Firing coaches, letting Monchi leave, dismissing the medical staff, slapping a Hyundai logo on their ass...Roma can seldom leave well enough alone. Of course, all of those things are really window dressing; it's the guys on the pitch that really matter (obviously).
To that end, and with the ever-present uncertainty of the transfer market and Roma's proclivity to sell big names every summer, Roma are reportedly taking steps to avoid a complete house clearing come July. According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Roma's interim Director of Sport, Ricky Massara, is picking up where his predecessor left off—trying to lock up a few of the club's key players on new and/or extended deals.
Edin Dzeko, Daniele De Rossi, Nicolo Zaniolo, Stephan El Shaarawy and Cengiz Ünder are each reportedly on Massara's to do list. Now, if any of these renewals sound familiar, there's good reason; we've been talking about many of these all...season...long. Intermittently, gently interspersed between the cavalcade of transfer rumors, we'd catch wind of these little nuggets: Roma are close to extending De Rossi's career, Roma look to lock up Ünder or El Shaarawy set for Roma stay. And, as you've no doubt noticed, they were all complete fabrications, or at least prematurely published.
De Rossi, whose deal expires on June 30th, is obviously the most pressing of the renewals, doubly so now that his wife waxed poetically about life abroad. However, DDR will turn 36 shortly after the season expires and is, believe it or not, probably too old for the MLS retirement tour, so he may have to delay the trips to Disney World for the time being. Besides which, De Rossi is Roma through and through and doubly besides which (that's a thing, don't argue) he's still one of the club's best players, so whatever renewal he receives isn't a mere token.
The remaining four names aren't quite as urgent, but Roma would be wise to sort them out sooner rather than later. Zaniolo and Ünder each have multiple years left on their deals, but thanks to their quick ascendancy their current salaries aren't exactly commensurate with their talent and impact, and with multiple suitors ready to throw big money at Roma, Massara needs to lock down one, if not both, with fat salaries and/or large release clauses.
As the GdS correctly points out, the renewals of SES and Dzeko are, while not the most urgent, perhaps the most complicated. With another year on each of their deals, Roma has to, at the very least, extend them to increase their transfer value, but more to the point they need to figure exactly what each player is worth in their current form.
Dzeko may be one of the best strikers they've ever had, but at 33-years-old, he only has so much time left and is probably no longer deserving of being the club's top wage earner, but how much of a cut is he willing to take? Will Massara offer additional years in exchange for a lower salary?
And then there is El Shaarawy. While he's been Roma's best forward this season, the back of his Panini card isn't exactly brimming with consistency, but he's only 26-years-old and is surely worth more than the €2 million he's making now, which is less than Juan Jesus! But how high should he move up the salary chart, and for that matter can you guarantee him a consistent role when you don't know who's calling the shots next year?
For my money, De Rossi is a no-brainer; get that done before Roma closes up shop for the season. As far as the other four are concerned, if Massara finds himself in an either or situation, Zaniolo and El Shaarawy should be the priorities (assuming its an Ünder vs Zaniolo and SES vs Dzeko thing).
Monchi or no Monchi, Roma has to gain traction on these renewals—the time for talk is over.