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Report: Roma Reach Deal for Marash Kumbulla

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A shocking transfer that could spell the end of Chris Smalling's Roma return.

Hellas Verona v US Lecce - Serie A Photo by Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images

When it rains, it pours, right? After over a month of transfer silence, Roma's market is ramping up with only five days before their opening round fixture against Hellas Verona. Not more than 90 minutes ago, we passed along word that Roma and Napoli had finally come to terms for 26-year-old striker Arkadiusz Milik, a move that would then free Roma to sell Edin Dzeko to Juventus, only to find out that Milik is still holding out hope for his own move to the nine-time defending champions. But with new Juve manager Andrea Pirlo set on fielding Dzeko in his already impressive lineup, Milik may be in for a really bad case of unrequited love.

If you find yourself at a loss for words, you're not alone. First it was Napoli President Aurelio De Laurentiis who held on the delusions that Milik was a €50 million player, now it's Milik who is having trouble facing reality: he either rides the pine at Napoli all year or accepts a handsome raise to be the man at Roma.

As frustrating as that might be, and as incredible as this might be to read, it's all window dressing to this shocker:

According to Fabrizio Romano, Roma have reached an agreement for Hellas Verona defender Marash Kumbulla, a 20-year-old Albanian center-back. If that name sounds familiar, it should; it was his once impending transfer away from Verona (most likely to Inter) that prompted them to acquire Roma's Mert Çetin last month.

Although young, Kumbulla is generally regarding as one of the better up and coming defenders in the league after a debut season in which he made 25 appearances, scoring one goal while averaging 1.6 tackles and 2 interceptions per match.

The exact terms of the deal weren't included by Romano, but word on the streets says Roma will acquire Kumbulla on a loan plus obligation to buy, believed to be as high as €30 million.

When taken with Roma's surprise negotiations (or at least rumors) for Torino's Armando Izzo, Smalling's return to Roma isn't quite as certain as it once seemed.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, stay tuned. The news shows no signs of relenting.