Sky Sport Italia report that Alessandro Florenzi’s agent is locked in near-completed talks with Valencia over a move to Spain. Roma have picked the phone back up from earlier talks with the La Liga outfit a couple of months ago, have laid down the grounds for a FFP-busting January sale. Reportedly, the issue stopping this transfer is both clubs agreeing on the manner of it; Valencia want a loan with option and Roma are pushing through a permanent Florenzi sale.
Obviously we’re writing about Roma’s captain here - the third captain in as many calendar years that Roma would wave goodbye to - but there is more than one factor contributing to this move, if it should come to reality.
The biggest factor is money. As we’ve covered previously, Roma have a history of last-minute January sales in a year where they’ve gone without Champions League money to keep the balance ticking over. Monchi did it in the winter of 2018 with Emerson (and nearly Dzeko) while Petrachi has reportedly has the irons in the fire on this sale for months, especially having his hand forced after the failed transfer of Leonardo Spinazzola.
The second factor has to be the ultimely injuries. If Nicolo Zaniolo had not gotten himself laid out on the stretch for months, you’d have to think maybe Cengiz Under would have bitten the bullet, in Florenzi’s place, this January. Or would he?
After all, another big factor is Florenzi’s career itself.
There have been several positive-proofs of character from this Roma setup in a month full of setbacks, where the club have fought back on the pitch with real determination and calmness in execution. Unfortunately, we can’t say Florenzi’s performances count among them.
The Roma captain plays like he’s going nowhere at this club right now, and he only has a few months left to find a role that suits him on the pitch, let alone some good form, in time for the 2020 Euros and Italy. In a tactical sense, Florenzi’s sale has a very Emerson-ish tint to it. Obviously the emotional impact of his leaving Rome would be different but, on the pitch, it’s essentially money raised for a guy who can’t get into the first team anyway.
But if this move materialises, it’s a fresh reminder that nothing changes at this club on the bottom line.
You can change the sporting director, you can change the coach and you can even switch out the captains for illusion of short-term benefit. You can try to give the impression that novelty, sometimes for it’s own sake, is a sign of a new dawn just over the horizon. But Roma are fundamentally a selling club, and that horizon is for sale to the highest bidder too.
Roll in the Dan Friedkin era, anyone?