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Rumor Roundup: Everybody Loves Gianluca, Nahuel Bustos Deal Stalled, Cristante-Mandragora Swap,

A bit of a weekend rumor wrap-up for you all.


As Bren wrote earlier today, the Roma rumor mill seems to be crazier than ever right now, what with the sale of the club in limbo and a huge amount of debt piling up due to COVID-19 (among other things). Add in the fact that Serie A hasn’t officially restarted just yet, and all those talking heads have plenty of time to talk about one thing: transfer rumors. Here are a couple from this week that stood out to me.

Everybody Loves Gianluca

AS Roma v Brescia Fc - Serie A Photo by Matteo Ciambelli/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Considering all of the bluster surrounding the will-they-won’t-they of Chris Smalling’s permanent transfer to Rome, it’d be easy to forget just how good of a season Roma’s other starting center-back has had. Unfortunately, it seems like nobody who throws around millions of euros for players forgot. Gazzetta Dello Sport is reporting that Juventus, Inter, Bayern Munich, and half of the Premier League are interested in Mancini based off of his excellence in the giallorossi shirt.

That’s not incredibly surprising, considering the huge debt crisis Roma is facing and how well Mancini is playing. What is surprising is that Roma, and particularly Paulo Fonseca, seem intent on keeping the Italian international around. I’m not foolish enough to believe rumors that say Roma is intent on keeping somebody around anymore, but it’s nice to see that even with Bayern Munich calling, Mancini’s transfer out isn’t thought of as a fait accompli.

Nahuel Bustos Deal Stalled, But All Parties Confident


This rumor is coming from RomaPress, who say that talks between Roma and Talleres for Argentinian forward Nahuel Bustos are on hold until the season restarts. Although Roma look to have a rival for Bustos’ services in Valencia, all parties seem relatively confident that a deal for the forward who could become our vice-Džeko can come to a positive conclusion.

The price that RomaPress is touting for the Argentine is €9 million, which is definitely more of a bargain deal than Roma’s last attempt to find a young promising striker. He’s only played in the Argentine Primera Division so far, so it’s certainly not guaranteed that Bustos will become the second coming of Lautaro Martinez for Roma. However, it’s definitely encouraging to me that the Giallorossi are having discussions for a variety of young strikers. They know that Džeko is excellent but aging, and identifying the problem is the first step on the way to solving it.

Mandragora - Cristante Swap Possible?

FC Crotone v Atalanta BC - Serie A Photo by Maurizio Lagana/Getty Images

Now this is an interesting rumor, if only because swap deals are relatively rare in the world of football. The Corriere Dello Sport is reporting that once Juventus exercises its €26 million option on Rolando Mandragora, they hope to swap him with Roma midfielder and Everyone’s Favorite Canadian-Italian Bryan Cristante. What’s more, they report that Roma is interested in the deal.

On some level you can see why Roma might want to swap the two young Italian midfielders. Cristante has been solid for Roma but he hasn’t lit up the field like he did at Atalanta. With quite a few excellent young midfielders in the senior squad and the recent signing of Jordan Veretout, it’s hard to see how Cristante can force his way into a permanent spot in Fonseca’s starting XI. Similarly, Mandragora is quite good, but it’s unclear if Juventus is the right place for him. Both of these midfielders are excellent at what they do, and swap deals are rare for a reason. But if a swap between Juventus and Roma can help them find the space to grow while also helping Fonseca and Sarri get the type of players they need for their midfields, this deal could make some sense.