Considering the circumstances stacked against them—the lingering economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic, the exhaustive list of undesirable players and salaries they need to offload and the simple fact they're doing all of this without having a full-time director of sport—AS Roma's summer/fall transfer market was more successful than we had any right to expect. They struggled to offload some of their now redundant assets (Juan Jesus, Federico Fazio, Javier Pastore) but stand-in director of sport Guido Fienga did well to land Roma one of the most heralded defensive prospects in Italy (Marash Kumbulla), sign an intriguing alternative/back-up to Edin Dzeko (Borja Mayoral) and, of course, bring Chris Smalling back into the fold.
In our transfer market recap podcast, I gave the club an A- for their efforts; a grade that I stand by when you consider everything we just mentioned. While Fienga and his mishmash of advisors did an admirable job sanding out the rough edges on Roma's roster, the club is still in the market for a full-time Director of Sport.
While some have clamored for Gianluca Petrachi to resume his position, the names pursed on most people's lips are Red Bull whiz Ralf Rangnick and current Juventus executive Fabio Paratici, who some Italian journalists have pipped as the favorite for the position, which is reportedly the Friedkin's next line of football business.
La nuova #ASRoma di Friedkin a caccia di un direttore sportivo: la prima scelta resta sempre Fabio #Paratici. Il corteggiamento è partito da tempo e nelle prossime settimane giallorossi offriranno al dirigente della #Juventus (scade 2021) un ricco triennale (€2M). #calciomercato— Nicolò Schira (@NicoSchira) October 7, 2020
According to Schira, the Friedkins, who exchanged pleasantries with Paratici during the Roma-Juventus match two weeks ago, see the 48-year-old former Palermo midfielder as the top candidate to assume Roma's vacant director role and are reportedly considering offering Paratici a three-year deal worth as much as €2 million per season.
Paratici has been with Juventus since 2010 and was integral in the Old Lady signing Carlos Tevez and Cristiano Ronaldo, among others and has been Juve's Chief Football Officer since 2018.
Neither Schira, nor the Corrierre dello Sport, who ran a similar story today, give any timeline for Roma's DS decision, but it's safe to say they'd want a new leader in place before next summer's transfer market and perhaps even sooner.
When it comes to building and sustaining a winning culture and philosophy, there are few positions more important than the sporting director.