Over the past several days, we've discussed and dissected Roma's summer transfer market in both written and podcast forms, assigning grades, discussing the winners and losers and even making predictions for future transfer campaigns. Transfers may have been depressed league-wide, both in terms of the sheer amount of moves and the money spent therein, but when we look back on the summer 2020 transfer season the biggest move may have been the one that wasn’t made: Arkadiusz Milik to Roma.
By now you're no doubt aware of what happened. With Roma and Napoli seemingly inches away from a potential €25 million move for the 26-year-old striker, the deal collapsed thanks to some lingering animosity between Milik and Napoli President Aurelio De Laurentiis, who was adamant that Milik pay some minor licensing fees before consenting to the move.
With the Milik deal disappearing like dust in the wind, Edin Dzeko's corresponding move to Juventus never materialized, with the Old Lady quickly turning to Alvaro Morata instead, which then indirectly led Luis Suarez to Atletico Madrid. Making matters worse for Milik, not only did his Roma option vaporize, rumored moves to clubs like Spurs, Fiorentina and Everton never got off the ground, leaving the Polish international in an awkward limbo where he's essentially training on his own, left off Napoli's domestic and European squads in recent weeks.
Milik, who is set to be a free agent after June 30th, may yet emerge a winner from all this mess, but I can't think of any player whose fortunes took a downturn quite like this. But that may all change in three short months according to the Corriere dello Sport:
Having already agreed to the framework of a three year deal that would pay Milik €4.5 million per season, the CdS reasons that all three parties (Roma, Napoli and Milik) could reconvene to push this deal through in January, with Roma paying roughly €15 million to acquire the 26-year-old. Or, failing that, Roma could simply wait until June to sign Milik on a free transfer.
Investing €13.5 million in salary commitments to Milik is no trivial thing for a club that ran a half a billion in losses over the past decade, but when taken with the news that Roma may extend Edin Dzeko's contract in order to spread his remaining salary (€7.5 million per year through 2022), bringing in another top quality striker seems, at the very least, more plausible than it would have just a few weeks ago.
When you consider all the financial and public health uncertainties facing the sport right now, Guido Fienga and the rest of Roma's brass did a remarkable job improving their squad over the summer, and if we put any faith in this rumor—not to mention the club's plans to land Stephan El Shaarawy this winter—they may finish with a flurry in January.