The Corriere dello Sport reports that Roma have agreed terms with Tottenham’s out-of-contract defender Jan Vertonghen. So far it’s only the CdS running with this story, so take it with caution, but could signal Chris Smalling’s Roma career is over after just one (magnificent) season at the club. Ultimately, it looks like the first of many tough decisions to come, as Roma begin to confront their crippling financial problems.
Roma’s Franco Baldini reportedly has agreed a two-year contract with Vertonghen, at €3 million per year. Given the tax-relief for signing players from abroad to Italian football right now, that’s a comfortable deal for a player of Vertonghen’s vintage and ability. Roma are signing no mug in the Belgian defender.
Vertonghen’s creativity on the ball, as well and his calm and composure in picking out a pass with his left foot at the right moment, will be an “arma in piu’” added to Fonseca’s backline, if this move goes ahead. At 33-years old, Vertonghen may not double-up as a left-back bombing down the flanks any longer, but he fits the ball as the veteran centre-back to tutor young players Gialunca Mancini and Ibañez alongside him.
The only guarantee that Roma are losing with this move is that Chris Smalling was already a bona fide leader in the dressing room, and won the trust of absolutely everyone at the club with his personality and performances.
Smalling was even one of the very first players to be used in the club’s promos for the new season’s kit on social media. That was a move that was, at the time, not just a confirmation of Smalling’s popularity but taken as a sign that Chris’ signature was in the bag.
To that end, Gazzetto dello Sport (via ForzaRoma) reports that Roma have not given up on Smalling and will wait till the very last minute before declaring their Europa League squad. Even if Roma have to face their EL campaign without the Englishman, GdS claim that Roma will pursue Smalling’s signature through August and September all the same.
Are Roma making the right move with Jan Vertonghen? Is it just a pre-agreement to put pressure on Manchester United? Would you still try and sign Chris Smalling no matter the cost? Would you sign both Vertonghen and Smalling?
Let us know you thoughts in the comments.