Roma may have two matches in two different competitions in the span of 72 hours, but that won't stop the news cycle, nor the rumor mill, from grinding. We're barely into the work week and we've already been hit with a deluge of rumor transfers, returning players and a supposed tactical beef between Paulo Fonseca and Roma's senior players...gulp.
Onto the links!
Accoring to Il Messaggero, Roma’s seniors players had a meeting with Paulo Fonseca following today’s training to discuss the club’s 2020 struggles. According to the source (link via RomaPress), the players insist tactics are the root of Roma’s problems not, as Fonseca recently suggested, mental blocks.
We’ve seen tête-à-têtes like these over the years, but at this point, we have no idea what, if anything, will come from this rumored post-training meeting.
Finally, some good news. After re-injuring his meniscus last month, it was feared that Amadou Diawara would be lost for the remainder of the season. However, after taking the conservative/rehabilitation route rather than going under the knife, Diawara has been given the all-clear to return to training.
With second-choice keeper Antonio Mirante sidelined following his recent knee surgery, Roma's 22-year-old Brazilian keeper, Daniel Fuzato, has been included in Roma's Europa League squad list for their Round of 32 fixture against Belgian side AA Gent.
Fuzato hasn't seen a single minute with Roma's senior team yet, and who knows, if Roma racks up a sizable lead in the first leg, perhaps we'll finally see what this kid is all about.
Roma certainly have the desire to keep Chris Smalling, but with their Champions League fate hanging in the balance, it remains to be seen if they have the ability to keep Smalling, who could cost more than €20 million, a figure that could approach €40 million when you factor in a new contract and salary.
While Smalling is reportedly willing to decrease his wages to remain in Rome, without those Champions League revenues filling their coffers, it may not matter. With his future in Italy uncertain, a return to England may be on the cards, with both Spurs and Everton listed as suitors.
Some Perspective on Pellegrini's Struggles
Un confronto tra Pellegrini e la media dei trequartisti della Serie A. Lorenzo non sta attraversando un grande momento e può migliorare sotto alcuni aspetti, su questo siamo tutti d'accordo.— Valerio Albensi (@ValeAlb) February 18, 2020
Però basta disfattismo e basta giudizi superficiali, vi prego. pic.twitter.com/nw7DF2FUNo
In case your Italian is rusty, you're looking at a radar comparing Lorenzo Pellegrini's stats this year (Red) vs the league averages for a midfielder (green). It's an interesting bit of perspective on a fine player going through a rough spell...sort of like the entire team. Lorenzo will be fine. No worries.
After her hat-trick against Verona over the weekend, Agnese Bonfantini is up for Serie A Femminile player of the week. Vote in L Magazine's Facebook poll. Vote early, vote often.