While Juventus appear to be inching closer towards a €70 million move for Matthijs de Ligt, one that will pay him a reported €20 million, which, even if that's a gross total, far, far, far exceeds anything Roma (or any other Italian team quite frankly) can afford. Sure, it's nice that an Italian team can beat out the likes of Barcelona and PSG for the hottest name on the market, but this potential move will only increase the gap between the Old Lady and the 19 teams fighting to be her maid of honor.
Making matters worse for Roma, their former adversary for second place, Napoli, seem to be lining up a trio of moves that will further solidify their status as Serie A's second best side. In addition to their long-rumored (well, not long) move for our very own Kostas Manolas, Carlo Ancelotti's bunch may be snaring James Rodriguez and Chucky Lozano into their grasp.
It's a bleak back drop, but if you're expecting Roma to compete for any of the top three spots next season, you were bound for disappointment. With that out of the way, let's take a quick trip through the rumor mill.
Throughout the past ten days or so we've been tracking this presumably FFP fueled move, one that would see Roma sacrifice Manolas upon the alter of UEFA's most confusing and frustrating bylaw. While the particulars of this deal have varied wildly over the past week and a half—first it was straight cash, then a Mertens swap, which morphed into a Diawara swap, which transformed into two separate but concurrent deals involving both players—Roma's price tag has remained firm, €36 million.
While Napoli seem like they're balking at that price, Sky Sport (among others) report that Manolas has agreed to personal terms with his new club, as well as signing away his imaging rights.
We'll pick this deal apart when it comes to fruition, but needless to say, it won't be free from controversy.
Joachim Andersen Set to Leave Sampdoria
Of course, if and when Roma part ways with Manolas they'll need a direct replacement for Greece Lightning. Enter Joachim Andersen, Sampdoria's 23-year-old Danish defender. While no particulars of this rumor have been published, it is widely speculated that Andersen will seek a larger club, but with Arsenal reportedly keen on his signature, Roma will face stiff competition.
Yesterday we gave a quick glance at this rumor, and while it doesn't make complete sense at the moment, Veretout's agent will meet with Roma's brass (whoever that might be) to discuss his client's future endeavors. AC Milan are also interested in the 26-year-old and are reportedly not quite ready to throw in the towel, so this will be one to watch over the next week or so.
This one was always a bit far-fetched, albeit an interesting rumor. Marek Hamsik, Napoli's all-time leading scorer, has been banished to the Chinese Super League since January and has struggled to find his footing in his new surroundings, managing only one goal in his first dozen matches.
This rumor, pushed forward by La Repubblica, would have seen Roma swap Javier Pastore for Hamsik, with Chinese club Dalian covering a portion of Hamsik's salary. While that's all well and good, Hamsik's situation is akin to Daniele De Rossi; they're both so intertwined with their former clubs that suiting up for another Italian team is almost unfathomable.
We're still a couple weeks away from the official beginning of the summer transfer window, but it certainly seems like Roma's objectives are clear: undo the damage wrought by Monchi. With a reported €45 million shortfall to rectify, and no Champions League revenue to rely on, Roma face a tough choice: sell off legitimate assets like Manolas, Zaniolo or Ünder, or try and find takers for any of Monchi's many mistakes from last summer. (And yes, I'm aware Monchi acquired Ünder and Zaniolo to begin with, but, and this might be oversimplified, Roma are in this mess thanks to purchases like Steven Nzonzi, Bryan Cristante and Robin Olsen).
With a new manager and an incredibly short window in which he can actually work with his squad before the Europa League begins, continuity may be Roma's best bet. If that €45 million figure is accurate, recouping a large chunk of that from Manolas may be the quickest way out of this pit. Following that up with minimal spending (e.g. a Manolas replacement and a new keeper) could ensure that Roma aren't in this same mess come 2020.
One thing is for sure, signing 10 to 12 players every summer has gotten Roma nowhere and has contributed to their recent backslide.