The hunt for Roma’s next Director of Sport has taken a lot more twists and turns than anticipated. It was natural for the job to stay vacant while Roma switched from Jim Pallotta’s hands to Dan Friedkin’s; however, we’re now in month four of The Friedkin Group’s ownership of the Giallorossi, and next to no movement has been made towards hiring a new Director of Sport. There are some rumblings about potential moves coming after the New Year, with three names circling as successors to Gianluca Petrachi (and, to a certain extent, Guido Fienga).
Whoever the next DS is, they’ll be joining the Giallorossi at a time when some might say the club is overachieving; as of right now, Roma is fourth in Serie A and only three points off league-leaders Milan. It remains to be seen if Roma can keep pace and stay in the Champions League spots, but whoever Dan Friedkin brings in to run the transfer market will certainly be looking to build on the foundations that Gianluca Petrachi set. Which brings us to our first potential candidate for the job...
Meet The New Boss, Same As The Old Boss: Gianluca Petrachi 2.0
It seems like Gianluca Petrachi’s love-hate relationship with A.S. Roma just won’t end. Even though the Italian director is currently in litigation with the Giallorossi over his untimely sacking by former owner Jim Pallotta, rumors are bubbling that Petrachi may want to head back to I Lupi. As of right now, Petrachi is suing for 5 million cool ones due to his firing, but has said in court that he would accept reinstatement under the new ownership as a compromise. Personally, I doubt this one happens; it seems like Petrachi burnt too many bridges on his way out the door to ever rejoin the Giallorossi, to the point where even Guido Fienga doesn’t want Petrachi back.
Still, looking at the Roma squad that exists on the field today, you can see why this might be a tempting choice for Dan Friedkin. Despite Petrachi’s constant sparring with the Roman media, he made a lot of smart moves during his limited time in Rome. Even if it’s not in the cards for Petrachi to ever return to the Giallorossi, we should all be grateful for what he did to rebuild Roma after the Monchi Masterclass.
Two Can Play The Game Of Part-Time Lover: Luis Campos
Luis Campos is by far the most interesting name to be linked with Roma’s empty Director of Sport role. The Portuguese Director of Sport is currently working for LOSC Lille, and has stints at Real Madrid and AS Monaco under his belt too. He’s unearthed gems like Anthony Martial and Bernardo Silva, and he’s the exact Director of Sport you’d sign if you wanted to push Roma into the next level of superclubs.
Sold Tiémoué Bakayoko for approximately €32M profit
Sold Bernado Silva for approximately €34M profit
Sold Fabinho for approximately €39M profit
Sold Benamin Mendy for approximately €44M profit
Sold Anthony Martial for approximately €55M profit
Sold Thomas Lemar for approximately €66M profit
Sold Nicolas Pepe for approximately €70M profit
There’s a catch, though, and that’s Campos’ contract. Technically, Campos is a “consultant” to Lille, not the actual Director of Sport; instead of dealing with Campos directly, Lille has a deal with Campos’ company, Scoutly Limited. It appears that Campos would probably want to forge a similar deal with Roma, and The Friedkin Group isn’t keen on the idea. Considering that Campos has already been advising TFG on potential hires for the Director of Sport position, it wouldn’t be too surprising to see the two parties eventually come to an agreement, but it will be a question of which party bends to the other’s will first. Watch this space.
The Name’s Jong, John de Jong
I can’t say I know too much about the Dutch league; on the list of priorities I’ve had in the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand And Twenty, “Watching Eredivisie” has been pretty low on the list. But the rumor-mongers are selling John de Jong as a potential new Director of Sport for the Giallorossi, so I did a little digging to learn more about the Dutchman.
Sold Hirving Lozano to Napoli for €38 million
Sold Steven Bergwijn to Spurs for €30 million
Sold Luuk de Jong to Sevilla for €12.5 million
Sold Angelino to Manchester City for €12 million
Sold Santiago Arias to Atletico Madrid for €11 million
de Jong spent eight years with PSV as a player, albeit spending much of his time off the pitch on the doctor’s table due to a nagging injury. Sounds like a perfect fit for Roma already! Beyond that, de Jong has been PSV’s Director of Sport since 2018, and it’s not been the smoothest of sailing. He drew the ire of fans after sacking Mark van Bommel this past December, and he’s reportedly hinted that he wanted to leave the club multiple times since starting in his current role.
That kind of track record doesn’t exactly inspire me, but at this point I’ve come to realize that past success (or failure) as a Director of Sport doesn’t always transfer to success or failure in Rome. Monchi was one of the biggest names in the sport before moving to Rome; he crashed and burned. For all I know, de Jong could become the next superstar Director of Sport at Roma. Stranger things have happened.
So, what do you think? Who would you want to see as Roma’s next Director of Sport? Would you take Gianluca Petrachi back? Feel free to sound off in the comments!
Of these three names, who would be the best choice for Roma's DS job?
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John de Jong