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Wednesday Roma Rumblings: Fonseca, Dzeko & Totti

Fonseca close, Petrarchi already doing Roma’s bidding, Totti and Dzeko...

Manchester City v FC Shakhtar Donetsk - UEFA Champions League Group F Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

We’re now ten days removed from Daniele De Rossi and Claudio Ranieri’s tearful farewells and the end of the forgettable 2018-19 campaign. Yet, Roma still has yet to officially hire its new Sporting Director or manager. It has long been a foregone conclusion that Gianluca Petrarchi is the man Roma will bring in to fill the vacant DS role. However, despite this fact, Roma have been unable to make any official announcements. The reason: Torino President Urbano Cairo refused Petrachi’s resignation and has no intention of releasing him from his contract.

This is proving to be just another road block in a difficult 2019 calendar year for Roma. Nevertheless, it appears as if Petrarchi is already doing the bidding of Roma behind the scenes. In fact Corriere dello Sport is reporting that Petrachi has already been to Rome numerous times to discuss the upcoming summer mercato. That work was taken a step further yesterday when it was discovered that Petrachi, along with other Roma officials, was in Madrid to meet with Paulo Fonseca and his agent.

With his covert work no longer so covert, it’ll be interesting to see how things play out between Torino and Roma; the situation is certainly very delicate and Cairo is playing hard ball. Gazzetta dello Sport claims that a player from Roma’s Primavera squad or one of the players out on loan could be enough to appease Cairo.

With the coaching market starting to whittle away, it looks like Roma has made its decision on who will be the new manager. As has been reported for the last few days, Fonseca of Shakhtar has emerged as the front runner for the job. That status was solidified after yesterday’s meeting. Il Romaista reports that the other main candidate, Roberto De Zerbi of Sassuolo, was eliminated as a candidate because Pallotta prefers a more experienced manager.

There are still negotiations to undergo before Fonseca and Roma come to an official agreement. For one, Fonseca wants a clear understanding of just what Roma will expect of him, according to CdS. Additionally, there will have to be the approval of Shakhtar to release Fonseca from his current contract. This won’t be a problem if Shakhatr’s president follows through with his previous gentleman’s agreement not to obstruct the Portuguese tactician from joining a top European club. Stay tuned as things should accelerate in the next few days on the Fonseca front.

The Role of Totti

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

Another hot topic has been the role of Francesco Totti moving forward. Totti has been in a director’s role with the club for the last two seasons. However, it’s been unclear exactly what his role has been. For the most part, he’s been sort of a connection between the players and management. That should change as Totti is anticipated to have a more defined and prominent role moving forward.

It’s being reported by Il Romanista that Totti will be Petrarchi’s right hand man of sorts. It’s been reported that Totti has had a role in the coaching search and even received praise from Pallotta in his open letter in the insight he brought to the table. According to the reports, Totti will have a role in the technical area and will have a voice in the mercato.

Roma-Inter Negotiations

CdS issued an update on the Dzeko to Inter workings, saying that both clubs would like to come to an agreement soon. However, there is still some haggling to do before a deal can be reached. Roma are looking for around €20 million for Dzeko, whereas Inter are trying to get a cut rate around €13 million. A youngster could be involved in the deal, but one would think that the Nerazzurri could be a bit hesitant after sending Nicolò Zaniolo to the capital last season. It is also mentioned that Inter are thinking of making an approach for Aleksandar Kolarov, so keep an eye out for any truth to those rumors.