Serie A's striker merry-go-round continues to spin as we careen headlong into the start of the 2020-2021 season. All summer long, we've danced among Edin Dzeko, Arkadiusz Milik, Moise Kean and Luis Suarez rumors, with the future of all four strikers intertwined and dependent on somebody...anybody...making the first move. For much of the summer, it seemed like Roma would pull the pin, offering Cengiz Ünder plus cash for Milik, which would then trigger the remaining dominoes, namely Dzeko to Inter Milan or Juventus.
With Napoli sticking to their absurd demands for Milik, which at times included Ünder, Riccardi and as much as €20 million, Roma CEO/DS Guido Fienga balked at that asking price, and with good reason. With one year remaining on his deal, his replacement (Andrea Petagna) already purchased and his preferred destination (Juventus) not really interested in him, Napoli had about as little leverage as a club possibly could in this situation—Milik wasn't even called up for Napoli's recently friendlies either.
And since Roma was unable to unlock Milik, that meant Dzeko would remain in Rome, which, in turn, sent Juventus scrambling to find somebody to lead the line for new head coach Andrea Pirlo. That somebody, at least for the past week or so, has been Barcelona's Luis Suarez, who was seemingly so close to Juventus that he was reportedly lining up an Italian passport via his wife.
But, as we head into the weekend, it seems as though Suarez has cooled on Juve, who may actually be re-acquiring Moise Kean, possibly even on a dry loan, which has, in turn, led to rumors that Roma are reaffirming their commitment to Edin Dzeko, to whom new owner Dan Friekdin reportedly spoke to personally.
You still with me?
Good, taking all of that into account, it finally seems like Napoli are coming to terms with their Milik predicament. According to Calciomercato, Napoli have lowered their demands for Milik, all the way down to the bargain basement price of €35 million; a fee that Tottenham Hotspur—the only apparent suitor apart from Roma—are not willing to meet.
And neither are Roma, but there may still be a deal to be had. According to that same source, Roma are prepared to offer €15 million (the potential windfall from a Dzeko sale) plus a mystery youth player to acquire the 26-year-old Polish forward, who has 28 league goals to his credit over the past two seasons.
Calciomercato didn't speculate who that youth player might be, but with Riccardi off to Pescara, we can safely remove him from the list. And, if by “youth” they mean a Primavera player, then hopefully Calafiori is off the table, too. That would leave the likes of Devid Bouah, Ebrima Darboe, Edoardo Bove and Riccardo Ciervo, among others as possible make weights for Milik.
We're now T-minus nine days until Roma’s opener against Verona on the 19th. If Roma can sort out this jumble, let's hope they act quick.