Could it be the dawn of a new Roma era? Even if we know Roma are still a selling club, we’ll wait to see if the “supermarket” days are behind us. There’s a way to hold and a way to fold.
So far, Gianluca Petrachi exemplifies a lot of the former, but getting through the next two transfers windows selling on his own terms will be a (near impossible) feat for Roma’s new DS. Meanwhile, Edin Dzeko’s agent - former Gigi Radice disciple Silvano Martina - took the Tele Radio Stereo airwaves (via Il Romanista) to reveal some behind-the-scenes of Dzeko’s contract extension with the club he calls home, in a week where Rome’s media hailed Dzeko as the ‘Swan of Ferragosto.’
How did this renewal come about? And how is Dzeko?
Martina: “Roma has him in it’s heart, and they know he is family. The offer from Inter was very real but there was still a little way to go, but I think a player with a record like Dzeko’s can’t wait on other people’s choices, for example like Icardi in this situation.
Between me and him, it was said: ‘Here you’re loved.’ And he argued with me about it, that’s true. These are phases that every football player goes through, but he’s thought of very highly by the club and it was just a case of waiting to see that. In the last four days, we started to sit around the table and discuss a renewal with Roma, and at 9 last night we wrapped it up.”
How much did the new coach’s plans play into it?
Martina: “The teammates, the coach, the club and the fans who were asking him to renew definitely had a big part to play. Feeling important in a club like Roma, because Roma is still a big club, made it easy to sit down and talk with the club about an extension.”
Did Dzeko feel more welcome by Roma than Inter?
Martina: “When I sent Petrachi a text about a possible way forward, he was the happiest man in the world. Roma wanted [Dzeko] but they knew exactly what Edin wanted: when you’ve spent so many years at a club, sometimes you get the urge for a new experience and to play in the Champions League. But things started to drag out, we had to wait a month and a half and then we had to consider an idea that made itself real at 9 o clock yesterday night.”
So it was you who sent a text to Petrachi...
Martina: “Yes. Four days ago I texted him in the morning: “I could have an interesting little something for you.” He didn’t reply so I sent him a second message that evening: “So you’re not curious?” and Petrachi sent back: “I’m only curious if you tell me there’s a way forward with Dzeko,” and I told him: “Yes, there may be.” Then we renewed.”
The entire city of Rome has refound their enthusiasm thanks to this...
Martina: “You know one thing? They’ve always shown him love. In a stadium full of 35, 40 thousand people there’s always going to be those who whistle and jeer. But he’s always been in love with the fanbase here. What you’re saying makes me happy, as it means he’s done his job well here and that’s been appreciated.”
As you’d expect from a football agent, this works more as an endorsement of Gianluca Petrachi from Dzeko than the other way around. From the club’s side, James Pallotta is said to have been decisive in making this deal happen as the club agreed to a 5 million euros per year (including bonuses) deal to keep Dzeko on. That’s a slight reduction from his previous deal which went up to 6 million a year including bonuses.
But I’ve got a lot of time for Martina from my trivia days of answering the best Torino starting lineups from the 80s, and I’m sure former Torino DS Petrachi has a lot of time for him too. What this interview does confirm is that Edin Dzeko’s iconic status in Rome lives on.
The Bosnian is one of the greatest club legends to grace the shirt. Ever. He surpassed Abel Balbo’s scoring record last season and will now have more records in his sights. The way he turned whistles at the kick-off against Real Madrid into a standing ovation, by the time Dzeko walked off the field, sums it up better than we can.
Pick any HBO 24/7 epic ending you want to go into the new season. But this is my personal favourite:
And the club’s Italian twitter is back to top form:
Now THAT is a good tweet.