If your corner of the world is anything like mine, spring is in full swing. The sun is shining, the breeze is gentle and people are wantonly ignoring social distancing while their face masks dangle loosely in that cool breeze. These are strange times indeed, but as the weather turns nicer, it sure looks like old habits might creep back into fashion.
But I digress. Serie A seems like it might return in about three to four weeks, so in lieu of actual matchday coverage, let's take another whip through the Romaverse and see what's poppin.
Borussia Dortmund confirmed what most of the footballing world suspected all along--Mario Götze is going to leave the club this summer. FI, via Sky Sport, passed along a sort of pecking order for the 28-year-old: Lazio, Milan and Roma, but doesn't discount Nice in France or trips to England, Turkey and even China for Götze.
Götze comes with a number of red flags, but the club that can find the key to this next phase of his career could potentially strike gold.
There's just something about Mert Cetin that I really like. Despite barely playing for Roma this season, he just has enough of Kostas Manolas in him to make me believe he's going to be a solid and physical defender for many years to come.
But, with Mancini and potentially Smalling blocking his immediate path, he needs to play immediately. Enter Fenerbahce and Galatasaray, each of whom are battling to bring Cetin home on a one-year loan.
I suspect this will likely wait until the Smalling situation resolves itself, but he can't spend another season on the periphery.
Bit of a jenky translation to this one, but Il Romanista outlines the "axis of Fonseca", a core of eight to nine players Paulo Fonseca deems untouchable, including Pellegrini, Zaniolo, Mancini and Smalling among others.
We did a similar take in early April. Have a look.
We spent much of the week discussing potential veterans Roma could add on the cheap, but Football Italia passed along a report that would see Roma making a play for 19-year-old Turkish midfielder Orkun Kokcu, who currently plays for Feyenoord.
With Atalanta, Chelsea, Arsenal and Sevilla also interested in him, it won't be an easy task, but perhaps Roma's previous dealings with Feyenoord, not to mention the presence of Cengiz Ünder and Mert Cetin, could give them the edge.
RomaPress passed along a report from the Gazzetta dello Sport that would see the Emperor Palpatine-like return of Franco Baldini to a position of power with the Giallorossi. Baldini has always been an advisor of sorts to Pallotta, but according to this report, he'll have a firm and decisive hand in Roma's summer transfer plans.
This sounds like a fantastic idea. After all, what successful team doesn't have two directors of sport potentially contradicting each other?
While James Pallotta and Dan Friedkin have reportedly re-opened negotiations for the club (or at least re-established communication), a new suitor (of sorts) has emerged—British conglomerate, the PVC Fund, who have reportedly offered a paltry €350 million for the club. The offer was quickly rebuffed, but this marks the second time in nearly three years that PVC has made a play for the club.
Romanews goes on to report that Friedkin has since lowered his offer to €455 million. The longer this drags on, the bleaker the prospects for 2020-2021 become.
Perhaps the biggest planet orbiting Roma's transfer sun is the future of Chris Smalling. You'd be hard pressed to find a one-year loan that worked out as well for all parties as this one. Smalling rescued his career from the brink of extinction, turning himself into a hot commodity in the process, while Roma's defense would have been lost without him.
That once symbiotic relationship has become quite rocky over the past few months, as Roma and Manchester United continue their awkward tug of war over the 30-year-old defender. Smalling has made no secret of his love of Roma, but there's the small matter of €25 million standing in the way.
Roma are hoping for a discount, but with United not yet relenting, Smalling's wishes could be moot.
CdT Week in Review
From Totti to Doni to Matteo Ferrari, Jonas gave us a quick update on Roma's ‘07 cup heroes.
As part of SB Nation's underdog week, we looked back on Leandro Castan's rise to fame, his health struggles and his remarkable comeback.
We wrapped up our four-part Primavera series by comparing the contributions of Roma academy graduates to other top Serie A clubs.
Soon to be free agent Giacomo Bonaventura will reportedly sign with Roma this summer.
Is there any reality to these oft-heard rumors? How can anyone be certain in the current economic climate?
Scrooge McDuck? Willy Wonka? Jay Gatsby? You decide.