Roma are awash in financial uncertainty at the moment, and truth be told that's nothing new. With the club's financial lifeline seemingly always dependent on Champions League revenue, missing out on Europe's most glamorous football tournament often wreaks havoc on the Giallorossi's bottom line, frequently leading to headline grabbing sales and forcing the club to scour the bargain bin to find reinforcements. It's unfortunate, but until the club is sold and/or the stadium gets built, that's our lot in life.
Despite working with one hand tied behind his back this past summer, Gianluca Petrachi (and I suppose Franco Baldini based on what we know now) did a remarkable job working the loan market, landing three Premiership castoffs late last summer and turning two of them (Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Chris Smalling) into crucial cogs in the Fonseca Football machine.
We've mentioned it several times throughout the year, but loans seldom work out quite this well. Roma haven't exactly bowled over the competition this season, but Mkhitaryan and Smalling have been central figures in Roma's successes this season. And, in a bitterly ironic twist, it's precisely because of that success that their respective futures have been so difficult to sort out. Had they been shit or even just okay, no problem; Roma could easily sort out another loan without breaking a sweat, sort like they did (or soon will) with Davide Zappacosta.
Roma got a bit of help from Mino Raiola to sort out Mkhitaryan's future—he basically bought out his contract with Arsenal to remain with Roma—but the Smalling negotiations haven't been quite as smooth or successful over the past few months.
But, if Alfredo Pedulla is correct, that's about to change:
⚠️ BREAKING NEWS— Sportitalia (@tvdellosport) July 10, 2020
#Smalling resta a Roma!
➡️ Accordo vicino tra #Roma e #ManUtd per il difensore inglese. Prestito per un'altra stagione a 3 milioni e obbligo di riscatto fissato a 17 milioni pagabili in 3 anni#Sportitalia#Sportitaliamercato@AlfredoPedulla
According to Pedulla and SportItalia, Roma and Manchester United are hammering out a loan plus obligation to buy deal for Smalling. Under this scenario, Roma would extend Smalling's loan for another season, paying €3 million in the process, and then pay an obligatory €17 million purchase clause at the end of the 2020-2021 season. To further sweeten this deal, Roma will reportedly be able to spread out these payments over the course of three years—win-win.
We'll obviously have to wait for official confirmation before properly celebrating this deal, but this would be one huge check mark on Roma's to-do list this summer.