We mentioned it late last week—and indirectly this morning—but the mess of striker rumors orbiting around Italy has never been so chaotic nor so closely intertwined. While we've spent weeks, if not months, discussing the futures of Edin Dzeko and Gonzalo Higuain, the real key to untangling this mess of rumors may have been Romelu Lukaku all along. The Manchester United striker was long assumed to be headed to Inter Milan, where he would reportedly form a large and powerful tandem with Dzeko, but with Antonio Conte's top choice looking more and more likely to head to Juventus in exchange for Paulo Dybala, things are about to get interesting in Italy.
We may have spent this morning attempting to digest the notion that Roma would invest some €56 million into 31-year-old Gonzalo Higuain, but the chain of events unfurling up north—Lukaku to Juventus—may throw a monkey wrench into those plans.
According to Sky Sport, Mauro Icardi, himself a man increasingly without a country, may actually be Roma's next striker, as the seeds Gianluca Petrachi planted in early June may bear fruit in the coming weeks. With Inter likely to move on from Lukaku, tabbing Eintracht Frankfurt's 25-year-old Croatian forward Ante Rebic as their new forward, Icardi would suddenly be free to leave the San Siro, with Roma emerging as a strong contender for the controversial but talented striker.
Following this line of reasoning, Inter would like to pair Rebic with Dzeko, who could potentially move to Inter in a cash/swap deal for Icardi. The sticking point, as it seemingly has been all summer long, is exactly how much cash Roma will have to include to make this move a reality. With Inter prepared to pay some €15 to €20 million for Dzeko, Roma would still have to float the balance of Icardi's value, believed to be in the neighborhood of €80 million, meaning Roma would have to find a spare €60 million in the budget.
We've discussed the drawbacks to this move many times, and while those can't be ignored, they tend to overshadow what Roma would be getting—a 26-year-old striker with nearly 130 Serie A goals to his credit.
This would be an awesome move (in the truest sense of the word), one that would send a strong signal of intent to the rest of the league and potentially alter the course of Roma: Year Zero.