There's a parallel universe in which Matteo Politano was still beaming from having played for Roma in his first Derby della Capitale on Sunday, but in this universe, the one in which people start riots over chicken sandwiches, Politano's move to Roma was felled by Inter Milan's excessive fitness test requirements for Leonardo Spinazzola, Politano's swap partner in that doomed deal. With that move scuppered, Roma turned their attention to another deal they had sitting on the back burner all these weeks, Atalanta's central defender Roger Ibanez.
With Politano's failed move still a fresh wound, Roma waited until this deal was signed, sealed and delivered before promoting their new signing.
Moments ago, Roma unveiled their first signing of 2020, Roger Ibanez, formerly of Atalanta. Ibanez, a 21-year-old Brazilian, joined Atalanta last year and arrives in the capital on an initial 18-month loan with an €8 million purchase obligation based on certain sporting objectives.
The remainder of the deal is structured as follows, per the official club release:
In addition, a number of performance-related clauses are included in the deal – all of which are worth a maximum of €2m in bonus payments.
Atalanta will also retain a right to 10% of any future transfer fee received for the player, should he be sold at any point prior to 30 June 2024.
If Ibanez is still a Roma player at that point, the Bergamo club will receive an additional one-off bonus payment of €1m – while, should Ibanez still be sold after 30 June 2024, they will be owed a payment equivalent to 10% of any profit the Giallorossi have made on the player, after factoring in the initial transfer fee and any performance-related payments that have been made.
The deal is structured more or less as it was when we first discussed it a few weeks ago, but the salient point is, if we're reading it correctly, that Roma will owe nothing until June of 2021.
Ibanez has featured for Brazil at the U-23 level, but his time in Atalanta has been barren, as he's racked up a total of 20 minutes (all comps) since arriving in Bergamo last year. So, why then, were Roma so keen on him?
From our earlier report:
Well, on the face of it, Ibañez couldn’t be more of an identikit Fonseca defender.
Of what little Ibañez was allowed to show for Atalanta this pre-season, he’s clearly not afraid to drive the ball up the field. A further highlight video of his time in Brazil below shows that Ibañez plays aggressive in closing gaps to his opponent when defending, looks strong in the air and has enough pace to recover when opponents get behind the defence.
On their new signing, Roma CEO Guido Fenga spoke to Ibanez's potential to help Roma now and in the near future:
We all have huge belief in Roger’s potential. While we are sure he will be able to help us this season, we really believe that the next few months will help the youngster learn more about our football ethos. In time he can become an important player in our defence
Paulo Fonseca has shown no compunction in throwing young players into the mix, so, who knows, perhaps Ibanez will make his debut sooner than we think, but one would imagine, given that this is a relatively under the radar signing, that Fonseca sees something within the young Brazilian, something that he believes will enable Ibanez to hit the ground running in Roma.
Here's a glipse of what the kid can do...