We've spent a lot of time this spring discussing the free agent market, and while there are some pretty big names available—Edinson Cavani and Thomas Meunier probably top the list—it seems like the middle to lower half of the Bosman market will get the party started this summer. No more than 24 hours ago, we passed along word that AC Milan midfielder Giacomo Bonaventura had decided to sign with Roma, choosing the Giallorossi ahead of clubs like Atalanta, Torino and Arsenal.
And as we head into the weekend, the Corriere dello Sport has advanced the story even further:
According to the CdS, Giacomo Bonaventura will sign a three-year deal with Roma this summer, one that will pay him €2 million per season; the same amount he currently makes with Milan.
With so many clubs chasing after the 30-year-old midfielder, the CdS speculates that Roma's tight bond with his agent, Mino Raiola, gave Roma the slight edge over several other clubs.
In a vacuum, this is a great deal. Roma are getting a 30-year-old midfielder capable of filling multiple roles, one who has scored 34 goals and chipped in 24 assists in 171 appearances for Milan. Bonaventura could conceivably fill-in for Lorenzo Pellegrini, Bryan Cristante, Amadou Diawara or Jordan Veretout, and he could even make a spot appearance on the wing if need be.
The obvious caveat with Bonaventura is his health, specifically the osteochondral lesion (a tear or fracture in the cartilage covering his left knee) he had surgically repaired in Pittsburgh, PA in the fall of 2018, essentially erasing his 2018-2019 season entirely. Bonaventura returned this season and missed only a couple of matches with a thigh strain and has been relatively healthy throughout his career, so the worst seems behind him.
The other enormous caveat in this signing likely deals with the future of one or more of Roma's current mifielders, namely Bryan Cristante and Henrikh Mkhitaryan. Does this signing signal that Roma have given up on retaining Mkhitaryan? Or, conversely, if Mkhitaryan is coming back does Bonaventura mean Roma's Cristante experiment is over?
I'm completely in favor of this move, but the implications of bringing Bonaventura could create a couple of interesting headaches and/or wrinkles.
But, between this signing and Raiola paving the way for Kean to join the Giallorossi, I'm starting to think Raiola might actually be angling to buy the club.