It the annals of Roma transfer history, there are several sagas that dragged on for months on end, some bore fruit while others died on the vine. We all remember the #DareToDzeko campaign several years ago, a transfer story that played out for several months and even reached the point where Dzeko was pleading with Manchester City to let him leave. While that process became tedious after a few months, at least Dzeko actually arrived. We haven't been so lucky in the past few summers, being teased for weeks on end with visions of Riyad Mahrez, Hakim Ziyech or Mauro Icardi in Roma colors.
I'm not sure where the Moise Kean to Roma rumor falls on that spectrum yet. Since we've been reading this rumor since late December, it definitely meets the length of coverage requirement, but will it go the way of Dzeko or Mahrez?
Kean probably has more question marks as a finished product than any of the other names on this list did when they were connected to Roma, but there are a host of factors giving this rumor life. Kean's utter failure to gain traction with Everton is hard to ignore, a matter made worse by his continued struggles under his countryman Carlo Ancelotti, so there's the practical matter at hand—he just doesn't fit with Everton.
But perhaps even more influential than Kean's struggles is his agent, Mino Raiola. The Italian super agent has a seeming desire to deliver his client back to Italy, and specifically to Roma, a club with whom he shares multiple clients and maintains a productive working relationship. Kean was once Raiola's “next big thing” but his reputation has taken a bit of a hit since his explosive debut with Juve, so finding him a safe and productive landing space is likely Raiola's top priority at the moment.
Since December, we've seen multiple permutations on this rumor: a straight sale valued at €30 million or so, loans with obligations, loans with options, swaps for Justin Kluivert and last week's two-year loan with a €22 million obligation. But today it took another twist—a swap for Cengiz Ünder.
According to the Corriere dello Sport, Roma and Everton are considering a swap of Kean and Ünder, one in which Everton will pay €30 million for Ünder with Kean heading the opposite way on a loan with an appearance-based obligation to purchase.
While that's all well and good, Roma owe Ünder's former club, Istanbul Basaksehir, 20% of any Ünder sale, so the precise price point in this fictional transaction could be a potential stumbling block.
Under normal circumstances, I'd dismiss this rumor out of hand, but Ünder's Roma career has been all over the map; we've seen Ünder as a blazing fast scorer capable of dancing around any defender in the league and as a crafty and agile winger, but we've also seen him drift in and out of matches. He's still just 22-years-old, so he certainly has time to find his groove, but his ascension hasn't exactly been a straight line.
And with the presence of Carles Perez and the persistent rumors of Roma signing Pedro from Chelsea, it's not crazy to think Roma might sacrifice Ünder to address another area of need (striker).
I suspect we still have at least another six to eight weeks of this rumor, but there seems to be more driving this story than meets the eye, so don't be shocked if it comes to pass.