Yesterday, when ranking Roma's transfer values, we placed Cengiz Ünder into his own special little category alongside Justin Kluivert. Both players are tremendously talented and have as much potential as nearly anyone on the club not named Zaniolo, but, as out and out wingers, they're both somewhat miscast in Roma's new tactical framework. We don't know if Paulo Fonseca will maintain that setup next season (or indeed, if he'll even still be the manager) but for right now, Kluivert and Ünder are your classic square pegs in a round hole.
However, if we read the transfer tea leaves, Kluivert—who hasn't been subject to the same level of transfer scrutiny—is likely safer than his Turkish counterpart, who has been linked with a move to Gennaro Gattuso's Napoli side for several months now.
And on that front, the Corriere dello Sport provides us with an interesting update:
With Napoli interested in either Ünder or Jeremie Boga for their right wing, the CdS reasons that Napoli prefer Ünder because he may be some €10 million cheaper than Boga. They then take the next step and bring Arkadiusz Milik back into the equation. The 26-year-old striker has been on Roma's wish list for several months and may actually be the perfect complement and/or replacement for Edin Dzeko, as we outlined back in March.
An Ünder for Milik swap has been in the papers for a few months now, but with Milik reportedly keen on moving to Juventus, it never gained much traction. However, with Milik's former coach, Maurizio Sarri, no longer in charge at the Allianz Stadium, his desire to sign on with the Old Lady has reportedly decreased.
To that end, the CdS speculates on an Ünder for Milik trade, one that would see Roma swap Ünder plus €20 million for the €50 million-rated Milik. And if that move comes to fruition, Roma would then be free to sell Dzeko to Inter Milan, which, in a surprise twist, could give Roma enough funds to finance a move for Fiorentina midfielder Gaetano Castrovilli, to whom Roma were connected in March.
The final two links in this chain (Dzeko to Inter and Castrovilli to Roma) are complete speculation, but the Ünder for Milik swap seems to picking up steam and does make a great deal of sense for each club.
It's not everyday that Roma are linked with €50 million players, and in order to enter that neighborhood, sacrifices may have to be made. Ünder is still an incredibly young player but thanks to a string of minor injuries and the shifting tactical winds, he's struggled to build upon his early successes with Roma.
Arkadiusz Milik is a proven goal scorer just entering his prime years and seems like an ideal fit for Roma's latest project. If this move comes to pass, it could be the very rare win-win proposition for both sides, especially if it enables Roma to land someone like Castrovilli.
With Dan Friedkin's takeover some 48 hours away from being official, we'll soon get a look at the new look Roma. Will the club build around a young striker or continue to focus on wide players?
It's an exciting and fraught time in the Romaverse. Stay tuned.