Remember last week when we bemoaned the stagnant state of the transfer market? Yeah, you can probably forget about that now. Once Roma officially changed hands on August 17th, the deluge of transfer rumors (and actual transfers) that we expected never materialized. Where last summer we were at least tantalized by the prospect of Mauro Icardi and actual transfers of players like Amadou Diawara, Jordan Veretout and Gianluca Mancini, among others, this summer we've seen...well, not much.
But the tide seems to be turning, my friends. While much of the chatter surrounding the club has dealt with Chris Smalling and Patrik Schick, the scope has broadened over the past 48 hours, enveloping the likes of Edin Dzeko (to Juventus), Alessandro Florenzi (to Everton) and Nicolo Zaniolo (to Spurs).
But this one? This rumor is so random, so arbitrary, and so out of left field that even the Family Guy manatee writing staff couldn't have conjured up this rumor:
As you can see, La Gazzetta dello Sport is reporting that Roma left-back Aleksandar Kolarov is open to, and perhaps has already said yes to, a move to Inter Milan. Kolarov, 34-years-old, has been with Roma since the summer of 2017 and remains under contract through 2021.
Kolarov hasn't been immune to the ravages of time, but he's been one of the club's most productive players since his arrival, pumping in 19 goals while contributing 17 assists in all competitions.
Now, this is just one step and it remains to be seen if Inter and Roma can come to terms on a transfer fee, but, wow, who saw this coming?
Why This Move Makes Sense
Not only is Kolarov one of the club's oldest players, he's also one of their highest earners. And whether or not the club will come right out and admit it, trimming their €125 million wage bill has to be a top priority for the Friedkin Group. Kolarov, who is 34 as we just mentioned, makes a cool €3 million, making him the club's joint third-highest wage earner.
So, while he's still incredibly productive, when you combine his age with his salary, it's not hard to see why Roma would be prone to making this deal. For Kolarov, it makes equal sense—Inter are the better club at the moment and should be Scudetto contenders next season. And presuming they tack on another year or so to his deal, would you balk at this move if you were Kolarov?
Why It Doesn't Make Sense
Well, have you been paying attention to Roma's full-back play over the past 20 years? It hasn't exactly been a cornucopia of quality play. Kolarov may be 34-years-old but he's in fantastic shape and has logged over 3,000 minutes (all comps) every season he's been with the club. And as we just mentioned, he's been perhaps the club's most productive player outside of Edin Dzeko, and has been particularly effective on set-pieces.
Even if you can set all that aside, who takes his spot? Do you really trust Leonardo Spinazzola to man that spot full time? Kolarov played more minutes this season alone that Spinazzola has the past three seasons combined—in all competitions, no less.
So, unless Paulo Fonseca is ready to integrate Riccardo Calafiori into the lineup this season, stripping Kolarov from the roster would leave it woefully thin at an already tenuous position.
What Wins Out?
Kolarov likely won't fetch much on the transfer market, so if this move comes to pass, it will likely be one part Roma doing Kolarov a solid and one part Roma rushing to the door to remove that €3 million salary from the rolls.
As always, stay tuned...