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Roma News Roundup: Petrachi Accepts Roma Offer

Looking at the news around the web over Gianluca Petrachi, Antonio Conte and Alessio Riccardi’s Italy callup.

Torino FC v Juventus FC - Serie A Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

Report: Gianluca Petrachi Accepts Roma’s Sporting Director Role

Alfredo Pedulla reports that Torino’s sporting director Gianluca Petrachi has reached an agreement with Roma to jump ship into the capital for next season. Pedulla has been known for some hit-and-miss ‘exclusives’ over the years, but no one would be surprised if this one turns out to be on the money. It was only this week that Torino’s DS hit back at club owner Urbano Cairo in public.

“After a ten-year working relationship with Torino,” Petrachi opened up in a public statement to ANSA, “I don’t believe it’s fair to question my loyalty or professionalism. So I find Cairo’s statements unfair and I would have preferred we clear the air in person.”

Was it Cairo airing out their laundry in public that really brought it to this point? Or was Petrachi justifying a decision he’d made some weeks back before the fracas ever began?

We might not care about Torino’s personal business, but the same questions were asked when Monchi decided to say goodbye to Roma. Turnout is fair play in this battle of Roma’s short-termist approach to sport.

Petrachi coming to Roma means he gets our full support, no questions asked. But many on the outside will be asking whether it’s a wise decision for him to be burning bridges on a ten-year relationship, for a club like Roma who could just fire Petrachi in a couple years time. Expectations will be high and Petrachi will be derided and abused as man out of his depth in Rome, if he doesn’t get it right the first time.

Certainly, if reports are true that Petrachi could sell Lorenzo Pellegrini to balance the books and bring the team closer to the new coach’s (more on that in a minute) style of football, then good luck to Petrachi’s reputation surviving the Roma crapstorm.

After all, the last sporting director tried to make similar ballsy decisions for the last Roma coach. Just about the only thing Petrachi has on his side over Monchi is being Italian, and avoiding the anti-foreigner jibes if Petrachi should get it wrong.

Conte Is Now Bookies’ Favourite to Become Next Roma Coach

Italian Football Federation ‘Panchina D’Oro’ Prize Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images

With Petrachi’s Roma arrival comes speculation about whether childhood friend Antonio Conte will follow. Conte’s chances of becoming the next Roma coach are getting realistic now, with bookmakers around Europe giving him 8/5 odds on stepping into the job.

That is big short from the 10/1 payout you could have landed on Conte at the beginning of April.

The former Juventus coach is now ahead of Maurizio Sarri in the running, with Claudio Ranieri in third place to stay in the Roma hotseat for next season. Gianpiero Gasperini is considered a far outsider at 15/1.

Conte is likely waiting for the Inter Milan job to free up for the time being. But all the noises out of Inter suggest they might swing towards the idea of holding onto Luciano Spalletti. After all, they only just renewed Spalletti and gave him a payrise last summer.

It’s a similar door closing on Conte at Juventus. Agnelli has confirmed Allegri as Juve’s coach for next season, not least of all because firing Allegri would have meant 15 million euros worth of wages to be settled in parting ways. That’s before they even get to agreeing on Conte’s circa-10 millon-per-season wages.

That leaves Conte with the possibility of the AC Milan job; a club who can’t guarantee they know who their owner will be by next year, let alone what European competition they’ll be playing in. In other words, Milan and Roma are the best offers on the table for Conte, and both represent a similar risk.

If Conte takes a gamble on coaching Milan, he has a club with far more history and commercial power behind it than Roma. But if he takes a gamble on coaching Roma, he gets to work with friend Petrachi. What would you do?

Riccardi’s Make-or-Break Situation With Roma After Italy Call-Up

Italy U19 v Serbia U19 - UEFA Elite Round Photo by Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images

Another international football window, and another opportunity for Roberto Mancini to shake up the Italian transfer hierarchy. Alessio Riccardi wins a call up to the senior Italy squad without playing a single Serie A game for Roma (though he has appeared in the Coppa), and it remains to be seen whether Mancini will actually cap the Roman-born midfielder.

If Riccardi somehow does take to the pitch for the Azzurri, that virtually guarantees his Roma career is over. Unless Roma can find a regular spot for Riccardi in the senior team next season, his rising price tag would make him too big of a plusvalenza for Roma to turn down.

We’ve seen this happen this season with Nicolo Zaniolo and Alessio Cragno. Mid-table talents get forced up the ranks for a bigger team to take a gamble on them, and youth talents get forced up the ranks into a team’s senior squad to take a similar gamble. Roberto Mancini is just doing his job: forcing the regular Serie A talent pool to be more Italian.

In Riccardi’s case, this could all bring about his permanent sale to a midtable club or relegation battler for next season. But if there were a buyback clause in there, and the buyer were Brescia, who were handing over Sandro Tonali in part-exchange? Now we’re talking.

Edoardo Bove Makes Roma Primavera Debut

Empoli U19 v AS Roma U19 - Serie A Primavera Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

If Nicolo Zaniolo was ranked 2nd on TuttomercatoWeb’s recent list of 100 Best Italian Youths and Alessio Riccardi was ranked 13th, then keep an eye out for 2002-born Edoardo Bove ranked in 55th.

The Roma U-17 sensation scored 4 goals in his opening 6 games from midfield this season, and announced himself on the world stage during the winter Alkass Cup, where Roma’s U-17s were defeated at the last hurdle by Glasgow Rangers on penalties. Just a long tradition of Roma teams who come second, but Bove’s talent was undeniable.

Bove has now made his Primavera debut for Alberto De Rossi’s team in today’s 2-2 draw away to Empoli Primavera. If you had your hopes set on old-timer Riccardi, well it’s time for him to move over for Bove.