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All Signs Point Towards Pedro Signing with Roma on Free Agent Deal

The soon to be 33-year-old free agent will sign a multi-year deal with Roma when the summer transfer window opens.

Chelsea FC v Everton FC - Premier League Photo by Stephanie Meek - CameraSport via Getty Images

Roma aren't usually big players in the winter transfer market, but there were whispers as far back as December that the Giallorossi were interested in Pedro, Chelsea's 32-year-old versatile Spanish forward. That obviously didn't come to pass, though Roma did sign Carles Perez and Roger Ibañez during the January window, but Paulo Fonseca's admiration for Pedro hasn't wilted since then, and it seems like he's about to get his wish.

According to multiple reports in the Italian media, Roma are all set to sign Pedro on a free-transfer once the market opens again later this summer.

Gianluca Di Marzio is leading the charge on this one, reporting that Pedro is all but a done deal. While Di Marzio doesn't speculate on any contractual terms, other outlets have repeated the figures we've seen all month long: a two-year deal worth €3.5 million per season, with a possible third option year.

Until those figures are made official, we can't really dissect them, but remember that, thanks to the Decreto Crescita signed last year, foreign players bring with them a host of tax incentives that benefit both player and club. Under this law, not only will Pedro save on his personal income tax but the club will get similar relief on their total tax bill.

A mock-up of Roma's potential savings under this law.
Tifo Football

I still haven't filed my personal income tax (the deadline was extended, right!?) so I'll leave the actual calculations to the CPAs among us, but suffice it to say, Pedro's salary isn't as hard to swallow as it initially appeared. Though you have to wonder if a team used this tax loophole to the extreme if it would cause some resentment among players who do not qualify for the exemption, but that's neither here nor there.

So what exactly are Roma getting out of this investment?

Well, in short, it's hard to say. Pedro will be 33-years-old in late July and his last three full seasons with Chelsea have been all over the map. From 35 appearances, nine goals and nine assists in 2016-2017 to 31 appearances, four goals and two assists in 2017-2019 to 31 appearances, eight goals and two assists last season, Pedro has been a roller coaster over the past few seasons and barely played at all this year—nine appearances with one goal and one assist.

Don't get me wrong, that's a pretty productive three-year stretch (21 goals and 13 assists) but Roma aren't signing a 29-year-old Pedro; they're signing a 33-year-old Pedro, who, if this season was any indication, is definitively on the decline—0.28 G+A per 90, the lowest mark of his career.

Even with those tax incentives, Roma are likely banking on Pedro experiencing a late career resurgence under Paulo Fonseca's tutelage. If not, Pedro could simply become a more expensive Diego Perotti.

This deal likely won't become official for many weeks, so we'll pass along updates as they become available. If nothing else, bundling a free agent deal with those new tax incentives is a clever bit of business from Gianluca Petr...I mean Morgan De Sanc...I mean Guido Fie...I mean Franco Baldini.