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Rumor Updates: Smalling Nearly Done, Mayoral To Roma, Fazio to Sampdoria & More

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Your Thursday updates include Smalling returning to Roma, a Real Madrid backup striker merry-go-round and a secret meeting at the American embassy.

Levante UD v Real Betis Balompie - La Liga Photo by Silvestre Szpylma/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

We're now less than 100 hours until the close of the belated summer transfer window. While it's been a rather quiet market for Roma—at least in terms of actual deals completed—it seems like the grand tradition of jamming in weeks’ worth of transfers into the final hours has carried over to the new administration. Roma did well to wrap up Marash Kumbulla under the cover of darkness and signed Pedro on a free with relative ease, but the remainder of the Giallorossi's intended business has been tough sledding. From the Arakdiusz Milik saga to the almost eight month long negotiation for Chris Smalling, Roma haven't had the smoothest market.

And we didn't even mention the Juan Jesus ordeal, which is seemingly torn straight out of the pages of a Seinfeld script.

Guido: Listen, Juan. I've given this a lot of thought: we have to break up

Juan: No. We're not breaking up.

Guido: We're not?

Juan: No

Guido: alright

One gets the feeling that Juan won't get the picture until he catches Guido with another defender at their favorite diner.

Onto the updates...

Roma & United Close to Smalling Deal

Stop me if you've heard this one before, but Roma and Manchester United are reportedly putting the final touches on a permanent transfer for Chris Smalling. According to the Corriere dello Sport, the two clubs are nearing a €15 million deal that would likely include a series of bonuses that could see the deal reach €20 million—or, in layman's terms, what United have been asking for since fucking March.

I have no idea why this played out so long, but kudos to United for sticking to their price and kudos to Roma for not giving up. As we discussed yesterday, Smalling's wealth of experience is a sorely needed addition to a backline that is long on talent and potential but a bit short on wisdom.

Borja Mayoral's Agents in Rome

A few days after Zindine Zidane reportedly asked to keep Mayoral with Real Madridpushing Luka Jovic to Roma instead—Zizou has reportedly reversed course, or at least had the decision taken out of his hands.

According to Spanish journalist Arancha Rodriguez, Mayoral will switch European capitals, arriving in Roma on a one-year loan with an option to buy. We'll have more on this when the move becomes official, but he seems to fit the bill as a backup and/or change of pace striker behind Edin Dzeko.

Federico Fazio to Sampdoria

For as much as Roma have struggled to offload Juan Jesus, they've been secretly working just as hard to find a new home for Federico Fazio, their 33-year-old Argentine defender. Throughout the summer, Fazio has been connected with a host of clubs in Italy, most notably a reunion with EDF at Cagliari, as well as a few clubs abroad but the latest rumors would see Fazio link up with another former coach, Claudio Ranieri at Sampdoria.

With a rotation of Mancini, Ibañez, Kumbulla and potentially Smalling, Fazio would be looking at a long year on the bench, so let's hope for his sake he finds a suitable place for his talents at this point in his career. He served Roma well and deserves nothing but the best going forward.

Raggi Meets the Friedkins

Roma mayor—and my celebrity crush—Virginia Raggi reportedly had clandestine meeting with the Friedkins at...get this...the American embassy. While I'll always credit James Pallotta for his dogged pursuit of the Stadio della Roma, I'm not sure he ever pulled out this stop—meeting with the mayor at the American embassy. That's a baller move.

There are no updates in the strictest sense—I mean, this has been going on for, like, six years—but at least Raggi seems intent on moving this forward.

That's it for now, stay tuned over the next few days as Roma wraps up their market. We'll have wall to wall coverage and probably even a deadline day podcast!