The big news of the day for Roma was the impending arrival of Chris Smalling from Manchester United. With that, Roma finally has a fourth center back to complete the rearguard for the 2019-2020 campaign. However, It remains to be seen if Gianluca Petrachi still plans on doing any more shopping before Monday’s mercato closing.
What is known, though, is that Roma has to ship out some excess players from the roster. On that front, Petrachi made moves today, as well. Reports indicate that Gregoire Defrel is on his way to Sassuolo, while Robin Olsen will be moving to Cagliari. These moves might not grab the same amount of attention as Smalling, but they are nearly as important as Roma’s final roster begins to take shape.
Earlier today, it was reported by many sources, including transfer guru Gianlauca DiMarzio, that Defrel will be returning to Emilia-Romagna. The Frenchman was purchased by Roma from the Neroverdi two summers ago for €20 million. Now after one underwhelming season in the capital and a loan with Sampdoria, he’ll be shipped back the other way.
Defrel’s move will be a loan for €3 million with an obligation to buy, which will cost Sassuolo another €12 million plus bonuses next season, potentially reaching €16 million.
Meanwhile, not too long ago, news broke that Roma has finally found a taker for goalkeeper Robin Olsen. Olsen arrived in the capital last season to replace Alisson after a superb World Cup for Sweden. Unfortunately for Roma, Monchi bought the World Cup fool’s gold and disaster followed.
Olsen never settled in at Roma and was eventually replaced by Antonio Mirante as the starter toward the end of last season. His poor season prompted Petrachi to go out and splash the cash on Pau Lopez, which meant Olsen was always on the way out. After a move with French side Montpelier broke down earlier in the summer, it took some time to finally get Olsen off their hands. However, with Alessio Cragno out injured, i Lupi found a taker in the Sardinian side—Olsen will move to Cagliari on a one year dry loan with the Rossoblu paying his full salary.
With these moves, Petrachi was able to move players who were not part of Roma’s plans moving forward. While it would’ve been preferable to sell both outright, Petrachi was at least able to get both salaries off of Roma’s books. That could be key if he wants to try and bring in another winger. Additionally, the €3 million received from the Defrel loan will cancel out the cost of Smallings’ loan. With these two off the books, it’s likely Maxime Gonalons, Davide Santon, and possibly Patrik Schick are still sent packing before Monday.