We've seen a lot of strange transfer sagas over the years, but I think the failed Leonardo Spinazzola-Matteo Politano swap takes the cake. Granted, Roma made things a bit worse by jumping the gun and publishing photos of Politano in Giallorossi gear, but the death of the deal had nothing to do with Roma. As we all know now, Antonio Conte and the rest of the Inter brass weren't satisfied with Spinazzola's standard medical results and demanded additional fitness tests for the 26-year-old full-back.
In the midst of all this, Inter tried to alter the terms of the deal, preferring a loan with an option swap over the original straight sale/swap they originally agreed upon. While we can understand their point of view to an extent, let's credit Gianluca Petrachi for not backing down; the two clubs had a deal and Inter reneged.
And lest you think the intrigue and drama died there, the ensuing couple of days have been full of hearsay and conspiracy. We had Spinazzola beaming upon his return to Roma (both in the airport and on the pitch) while Politano was so distraught upon landing in Milan that he was reportedly moved to tears. And then came the flood.
In the immediate wake of the collapsed deal, Inter completed the signing of the older and cheaper Manchester United castoff Ashley Young and appear to be following that up with Chelsea's Victor Moses; two deals that will cost Inter about half what they were going to pay for Spinazzola, leading some to claim this was the real reason they backed out of the Spinazzola swap in the first place, using the extra tests as a convenient out.
Still, denying Roma Politano meant denying themselves revenue and, as such, Inter are reportedly still interested in dealing the 26-year-old midfielder/winger. With multiple suitors eager for his signature, including our old pal Monchi at Sevilla, Politano seems to be exacting his revenge, reportedly denying all comers and insisting upon Roma.
Accordingly, multiple sources indicate the two clubs have re-opened negotiations for Politano, centering around a loan with an option to buy format. Per the CdS (link via Football Italia) Roma would bring Politano home on loan with a €20 million option to buy, one that becomes compulsory after 10 appearances.
It would be a rather circuitous route to something they should have just done to begin with, but as we saw over the weekend, Roma are better off keeping Spinazzola and if they can add Politano to the mix, then that's a pretty successful winter market, wouldn't you say?