What started out as a last second steal seems destined to end with a drawn out whimper. After snatching Patrik Schick from underneath the Old Lady's nose three years ago, it finally seemed like Roma got the best of Juventus for once. It was a euphoric but costly feeling, as Monchi, Roma's Director of Sport at the time, had to pony up a club record €42 million to land the then 21-year-old forward. But after taking the league by storm with Sampdoria, Schick's size, fluidity and nose for goal seemed the perfect traits to carry Roma's grand project forward.
For a variety of reasons, Schick just never settled into life in Roma. Awkwardly cast as a right-winger in Eusebio Di Francesco's 4-3-3, the kid we brazenly called Baby Bergkamp just never saw enough of the ball where he was best; in front of goal. Schick wasn't a one-dimensional player, but he just wasn't suited to be an out and out winger and with Edin Dzeko firmly entrenched at centre-forward, Schick had no choice but to masquerade as striker in winger's clothing.
After losing his spot entirely once Claudio Ranieri came aboard, Schick's future in Rome was done and dusted. What followed was an unexpected but fruitful loan abroad. And on a day where the entire world is focused on the Bundesliga's return, I suppose it's only fitting that a German club is the focus of our story of the day—the impending sale of Patrik Schick to Red Bull Leipzig.
Late last week we passed along the foreboding warning from Schick's agent that negotiations with Leipzig over a permanent transfer wouldn't be easy. Despite the fact they held a €28 million option to buy Schick, Leipzig were adamant they wouldn't be willing to pay that full cost, which put Roma in a bit of a pickle: do they shop Schick on the open market or stick with the sure thing even though it might cost them a few million?
Well, if Sky Sport Italia's report from this morning is any indication, Roma went the latter route. Despite some intermittent interest from Spurs and Everton, Sky reports that Roma and Leipzig have agreed to a €25 million deal for the 24-year-old forward, who impressed during his brief stint in the Bundesliga, scoring seven goals in 15 league appearances.
Despite that handshake agreement, there is still the matter of the actual payment. According to Sky, Roma are insisting on a one-shot deal; €25 million up front rather than a series of installments.
We'll save the full post-mortem for Schick when this deal becomes official, but suffice it to say, anytime you spend €42 million on a kid only to sell him three-years later for a 40% discount, it's not a good look.