If you didn't already suspect it, let me confirm it for you: the story of Roma's transfer market is the respective futures of Patrik Schick and Chris Smalling. Hell, we even said as much yesterday, but Tuesday brings with it updates to both stories, as both players may soon learn their permanent footballing fates.
All that and more in our Tuesday whip round the Romaverse.
Roma Offers €17 Million for Smalling
As far back as January, we've been discussing Manchester United's demands for Chris Smalling. Once considered spare parts at the Theater of Dreams, Smalling's rebirth in Roma has proven to be a financial windfall for United, who have held firm to their €20 million valuation all along. And if this latest rumor is true, then Roma's new owners haven't been paying attention to these negotations.
At this point, it's clear as day: Roma have no intention of crossing that €20 million threshold and are seemingly putting a lot of their faith in Smalling's ability to dig his heels in and refuse a move anywhere other than Rome.
To wit: according to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Roma's latest offer for Smalling is a €3 million loan plus a €14 million option to buy. Smalling is receiving attention from a host of clubs, and the longer Roma tiptoes around that €20 million figure the more likely it is someone swoops in, meets United's demands and convinces Smalling that their “project” is superior to Roma's.
Leverkusen Pushing for Schick
Bayer Leverkusen are completing paperworks for Kai Havertz to Chelsea and are now pushing to sign Patrik Schick from AS Roma (back from loan @ RB Leipzig). Talks on between the two clubs - also Fulham made an inquiry for Schick on last hours. #transfers #Bayer #Schick— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) August 24, 2020
With the much publicized Kai Havertz to Chelsea move almost done, Leverkusen are now shifting their focus on what to do with all that Havertz money. And their first play might be for Patrik Schick, the most expensive transfer in Roma history. According to this rumor, Leverkusen are prepared to offer a €30 million plus bonuses offer for Schick, who, to be fair, did quite well during his brief stint in the Bundesliga. Roma will never recoup all €42 million for Schick, but €30 million isn't a bad consolation prize, especially if it frees them up to complete other moves.
Speaking of which...
Pedro Takes Roma Medical
The now official former Chelsea winger has been in Rome for a few days to complete all the necessary paper work and medical tests before signing his free-agent deal with the Giallorossi. The final step in that process—the medical exam at Villa Stuart—took place this morning, and barring any red flags on his surgically repaired shoulder, Pedro should be officially unveiled later this week.
We'll have more on the signing and his tactical fit later this week, but with Italy's favorable tax laws, this signing is pretty low-risk, all things considered.
Javier Pastore Offered to Zenit
For two clubs separated by some 3,000 km, Roma and Zenit St. Petersburg sure do have a lot of cross over. From Luciano Spalletti to Leandro Paredes to the always erstwhile Malcolm, Roma and Zenit cross paths more than you'd think for two seemingly disparate football clubs. And if you believe this latest rumor, those connections will continue as Javier Pastore—the same guy Monchi paid nearly €30 million for and the same guy who just had hip surgery—has been offered to Zenit.
No word was provided on how quickly Zenit hung up the phone, though.
Fonseca Future Still in Doubt?
One of the biggest questions in the wake of Roma’s recent transfer of power revolved around the future of manager Paulo Fonseca. While Roma ended the domestic season on a high note, Fonseca was outwitted in Roma's Europa League matchup against Sevilla, which may have cast doubt on his future with the club.
And then came rumors of an Italian tactician/assistant being forced upon Fonseca, a move that could potentially undermine his authority within the squad. Now, with managers like Maurizio Sarri, Mauricio Pochettino and our dear old Luciano Spalletti—and I suppose even Max Allegri and potentially Antonio Conte—all available, odds makers are starting to rank order Fonseca's potential replacements.
With the season less than a month a way, the scope of Roma's transfer rumors has narrowed dramatically, so until something happens on the Schick and Smalling front, expect more of these micro-updates in the meantime.
As always, stay tuned...