As great and as legendary as Edin Dzeko has been for Roma during his five-year stint with the club, he's never seemed quite settled. From his horrific debut season (eight league goals in 31 appearances) to his recent connections with Inter Milan and Juventus, seldom has a summer gone by where Dzeko wasn't linked with a move away from the Eternal City. In some ways, it's testament to his skills, which remain quite sharp, but in another way it's a living memorial to the entire Roma experience: a star striker around whom the club's entire identity revolves can't seem to escape the rumor rags every summer.
Despite Antonio Conte's lustful gaze, Roma and Dzeko were able to keep their marriage afloat last year, but this summer Roma are facing an entirely different animal: the prying eyes and deep pockets of the Old Lady in Juventus.
While no one is quite certain what system Juve's new and completely untested manager, Andrea Pirlo, will implement, Edin Dzeko appears to be part of Pirlo's plans—if one believes the recent spate of rumors, of course.
And with Roma desperate to shed any salary they can, the club appears to be willing to negotiate with Juventus, provided that Dzeko actually wants to leave Roma, which is far from certain given how settled he and his family are in the city.
To that end, Roma CEO and DS by Default, Guido Fienga, has arranged a meeting with Dzeko to discuss the striker's future. According to Sky Sport, Fienga and Dzeko will sit down tomorrow to get to the heart of the matter: is Dzeko open to a move away from Roma?
If Dzeko says yes, then, and only then, will Fienga open up negotiations with Juventus for the 34-year-old striker. Of course, if Dzeko leaves, Roma will have an enormous vacancy to fill at the number nine position. One they might soon fill with Napoli's Arkadiusz Milik.
According to Calciomercato, Roma have been in contact/negotiations with Milik's agents over the past several days and have settled on a “draft” agreement for personal terms for the 26-year-old Polish striker. Calciomercato didn't speculate on the terms of the agreement, nor the method by which Roma would acquire Milik, but we can safely assume that he ain’t coming to Roma for anything less than €3 million, and likely closer to €4 million in salary.
As far as the actual transfer is concerned, for much of the summer we've talked about a Cengiz Ünder + cash for Milik swap, with Roma alternatively sending as much as €10 to €20 million Napoli's way, depending on which update you believe. As we profiled in March, Milik is as close to a like-for-like Dzeko replacement as you'll find in Italy, so the transition from the 34-year-old Dzeko to Milik should be minimal.
Dealing with Juventus is always an ugly proposition, but I'm not sure we've ever seen the two clubs haggling over a player as important as Dzeko, so this could be one for the record books. And one's feelings on this proposed move likely center around one crucial factor: at 34-years-old, how much does Dzeko have left to give? Would it be better to part with him a year too early than a year too late? Can you stomach the sight of Dzeko winning the Scudetto with Juve next year if it meant Roma were better set up for the future?
No matter what happens, tomorrow's meeting between Fienga and Dzeko will set the tone for the rest of Roma's transfer campaign. We'll provide updates as they become available.