Say it a million times and you still haven't said it enough; transfer rumors never die. Morning, noon and night, summer, spring and fall, transfer rumors seldom take a break. So, here we are, some three and a half months away from the summer transfer window, fretting about the future of several key Roma players, and a few we wouldn't mind seeing walk away if we're being honest. Transfer rumors are like election cycles: they begin earlier and earlier each time around.
It's been a busy day in the real world, so let's take a quick recap of the days biggest rumors, transfer or otherwise.
Juventus Plotting to Pounce on Nicolo Zaniolo
Claudio Ranieri said it himself: if Roma misses out on the Champions League next season, we'll see a lot of Roma faces in new places next fall. While Zaniolo admitted a desire to be a Roma-lifer, let's be real, that ain't happening under the best of circumstances, let alone one in which Roma needs to paper over an eight figure whole in their budget.
For most of Zaniolo's tenure in Rome, we've assumed Real Madrid would be the ones to steal him away from us; that's what they do after all. Trading maddening defeats to SPAL for glorious galactic nights at the Bernabeau is a no-brainer, you’d be a fool not to leap at that chance, but if you believe today's rumors, Zaniolo's temptress is a lot closer to home.
Word on the streets is Juve are planning to pounce on Zaniolo should Roma miss the Champions League, reportedly willing to offer as much as €60 million for Italy's next big thing, a sum that will supposedly trump all rivals for Roma's 20-year-old star in the making.
I'm not exactly clutching my pearls at the notion of Zaniolo being sold this summer, but I pray to god they're not dumb enough to sell him to Juve. That might be the final straw for me.
Now on to some lighter news...
Steven Nzonzi Wants Out
Oh happy day! Oh happy day! According to the Gazzetta dello Sport, Steven Nzonzi wants to make a return to the Premiership, presumably to be closer to his son. While that is certainly understandable, I'm fully on board for whatever it takes to get Nzonzi out of Rome; it's been an ill-fit since day one, so a clean break is probably best for all parties involved.
Inter Angling for Dzeko
The GdS was spitting fire today, folks. According to them, with Mauro Icardi being pushed further and further away from Inter Milan, Signore Second Place reportedly is eyeing Edin Dzeko as his new number nine for next season. Dzeko's role in Roma's buildup play this season has been spectacular, but with only seven league goals he's not really delivering where it counts most; in front of goal.
This could be an anomaly or it could be the beginning of the end, but at 33-years-old and with increasingly dissonant relationships with his peers, its probably time for Roma to cut bait.
Renewal for El Shaarawy
We'll end this update on a high note: the long rumored contract extension for Stephan El Shaarawy. Even with Roma's front office in upheaval, Ricky Massara and Francesco Totti have reportedly brokered a deal with SES—five years, €3 million per annum. El Shaarawy has found a level of consistency previously unseen and has slowly become one of the club's most important players, and as we discussed last week, this should be a gimme. We seldom see a relationship as symbiotic as that between Roma and El Shaarawy—this should be the last shirt he ever wears.
That's it for today, but with soooo much uncertainty surrounding Roma's near future, the rumor cycle should be relentless this spring/summer.
Strap yourselves in.