Hey, I didn't intend on writing about Gonzalo Higuain today, and I like to think there's an alternate universe in which the Azzurre are gunning for an upset over the United States in the Women's World Cup final, but here we are. Under normal circumstances, I'd caution all of us to not correlate transfer rumors with actual transfer plans; seeds are planted by agents and players, so the names that appear in the rumor rags aren't necessarily the names clubs sign. But this is Roma we're talking about, logic doesn't apply. In his opening press conferences, Roma's new DS, Gianluca Petrachi, spoke directly about his desire for Higuain, so this is one instance in which we can correlate the pace of rumors with the level of the club's interest.
We discussed all the highs and lows of this potential move last week, and followed that up by discussing this move in light of Petrachi's stated aims for the latest Roma rebuild, and in sum it is...confusing. Petrachi, and really the whole of Roma, are now focused on this Year Zero concept, in which Roma are supposedly starting from scratch, focusing on young Italian talent, of which Higuain is neither.
But yet this rumor persists, and it took a new twist today. For the past 10 days or so we've operated under the assumption that Higuain simply wouldn't move to Roma and that, despite Juve's insistence that he's not in their plans, he was going to hang on for a different offer and/or just collect his paycheck while riding the pine with the Old Lady.
Well, according to the Corriere dello Sport (link via Football Italia), Higuain might possibly be considering the notion of maybe playing for Roma someday...maybe. According to the CdS, Roma and Juve are working on a loan with an option to buy deal that, if it followed through to it's natural conclusion, would see Roma pay €26 million for Higuain, while floating his €4.5 million salary, which, as we discussed last week, is really his higher Juve salary just spread out over a longer period of time.
Now, if that option is really...optional...then this deal is perfectly fine; paying €4.5 million for one season of Higuain, particularly if he can hit his stride, would help Roma's quest to return to the top four tremendously. If, however, the option is mandatory, or if Roma are going the nuclear option and exchanging Nicolo Zaniolo for him, then no...and might I add, fuck no.
I don't have the data to immediately back this up, but no matter who the player is, when a director is so singularly focused on one player it never seems to work out as well as they'd hoped.
So, sure, give me Higuain on a one-year loan but anything more than that seems to fly counter to Roma's precious Year Zero approach, which would push us back to Roma: Year Negative One.