The holidays are a wonderful time, aren't they? When the stars align just right and Christmas Day and New Year's Day are on Wednesdays, the holiday season extends into a two week orgy of eggnog, wrapping paper, 12-hour TV binges, cream puffs and drinking on Tuesday nights. The season is so dizzying it's not hard to lose track of what day, year, and in this case, decade it is. So whether you're back at work today or managed to stave it off to next week, feel no shame if you're a bit discombobulated.
That disconnection from reality has extended into the Romaverse as well, where nothing, not even a decent transfer rumor, has popped up on January 2nd, the first real day of the new year. Matteo Politano may yet come and Cengiz Ünder may leave, but beyond that we haven't been exposed to any new transfer rumors.
But, if you've been following along the past ten days or so, you know Roma have bigger fish to fry: the impending Dan Friedkin takeover.
We passed along word late last week that the transaction was all but done, with the Texas-based billionaire acquiring the club from James Pallotta for some €800 million, give or a take a few hundred million. While the deal was expected to be closed before New Year's Day, that obviously hasn't happened, but the club did, in a way, admit that negotiations were continuing.
While it can't rival Milan's unveiling of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the Romaverse has churned out a few Texas-sized updates about Roma's impending sale. According to Il Tempo (link via LaRoma24), Friedkin will reportedly take in Roma's match against Torino at the Olimpico this Sunday, getting his first glimpse of Roma live and in person.
Roma, la firma di Dan Friedkin prima del derby del 26 gennaio— Il Messaggero (@ilmessaggeroit) January 1, 2020
Il Messaggero takes it a step further and claims that, following his first taste of the Olimpico, Friedkin will close the deal for the club by January 26th. The Corriere dello Sport goes even further, listing new deals for Nicolo Zaniolo and Lorenzo Pellegrini as Friedkin's first and top priorities, though he's reportedly been working with the Mayor of Roma, Virginia Raggi, to ensure that the project at Tor di Valle will finally take flight.
Ultimately, we were right to be skeptical that a deal this complicated could be closed (officially at least) by January 1st, but all the ducks appear in a row, meaning it’s only a matter of weeks before Roma’s 2020 Toyotathon officially kicks off, though with the deal not likely to close before the 26th, we may have to wait until the summer to see the Friedkin Effect on the transfer market.