After yesterday's flurry of transfer rumors—a series of still fictional moves that would drastically alter the face of Roma—the morning was always bound to bring some fresh updates on the respective futures of Arkadiusz Milik, Marash Kumbulla, Chris Smalling and Edin Dzeko. Oh, and we may even be able to throw Rodrigo De Paul and Mattia De Sciglio into the mix now...2020, I'll tell ya.
On to the updates!
Milik Still Hasn't Said Yes to Roma
While Roma and Napoli have the framework of a Milik transfer deal in place, which ranges from €20 million to €30 million depending on who you believe, there is one small problem: Milik hasn't signed off in life in Roma just yet. The initial hesitation, many believed, stemmed from his simple preference for Juventus, but there is now the thought that he's turned off by the length of Roma's proposed contract—five years.
This is likely speculation or just blustering from someone in the press and/or Milik's camp, but at this point the writing is on the wall in large, bold lettering: Milik's only options are to play second fiddle at Napoli and wait to hit free agency, or accept the move to Roma, where he would be the unquestioned man up front, while receiving a gigantic raise in the process.
And, as you're well aware, Milik's indecision is impacting Edin Dzeko's preparations for the coming season, as the Bosnian forward will likely move to Juventus the minute Milik signs on the dotted line for Roma.
Hey, speaking of Juve...
Roma Eye De Sciglio
While we wondered what would happen if Roma just gave Rick Karsdorp a chance to play, it still seems his future rests in Genoa, meaning Roma have only two right-backs on their roster: Davide Santon, who is most definitely a backup/use in case of emergency kind of guy, and Bruno Peres, whose resurgence was perhaps the story of Roma's restart earlier this summer.
It's not the worst situation one can imagine, but they need something in-between those two extremes. And that something could be Juve's Mattia De Sciglio, a player whom the Old Lady are reportedly keen to get rid of. Once seen as Italy's full-back of the future, De Sciglio has suffered for form and fitness since moving to Juve in 2017.
De Sciglio could be a component part in any Dzeko to Juve deal, but the Serie A dictators are reportedly open to separate negotiations for the 27-year-old full-back.
Roma and Verona Agree to €30 Million Move for Kumbulla
While this rumor was quickly denied over the weekend, late yesterday afternoon/evening, word started to spread that Roma and Verona reached a deal for the 20-year-old center-back, believed to be a loan plus mandatory option for roughly €30 million. While that rumor hasn't been refuted, Sky report that Roma have yet to reach a personal agreement with Kumbulla himself—a recurring theme to these rumors.
This would be a huge get for Roma and would give the club an incredibly young and intriguing back-line, but we're still a bit away from the PDF/awkward scarf photo phase of the deal.
Smalling Still in Play
While the impending arrival of Marash Kumbulla seemingly put the kibosh on Smalling's return to Rome, according to the Corriere della Sport we shouldn't count out a reunion just yet. With Smalling's insistence on returning to Roma, all that remains is the two clubs closing a €4 to €5 million gap in negotiations—so nothing has really changed, quite frankly.
Smalling has a contract in place with Roma (four years at €3 million per season) but there is still some considerable distance between the two clubs: Roma are offering €11 million plus €5 million in bonuses while United remain as firm as they ever have in their €20 million request.
Rumor holds that, once Roma spin off Federico Fazio and Juan Jesus, they will then have the roster spot and payroll flexibility to bring in Smalling, but given how long this has dragged out—and the fact that, to their credit, United haven't backe down—we can't assume anything, no matter how bad Smalling wants to return.
Roma Contact De Paul's Agent
This is a new one (from Tele Radio Stereo), and an incredibly exciting one. Rodrigo De Paul, Udinese's 26-year-old attacking whiz (24 goals, 23 assists the past four years) is reportedly on Roma's radar, to the point where the club reportedly contacted his agent about a possible transfer to the capital. For most of the summer, it was assumed that De Paul was headed to England to play for the newly promoted Leeds, but the delay in those negotiations has presumably given Roma hope.
Milik would be exciting and Kumbulla could potentially set Roma up for a decade, but this would be the transfer of the summer for Roma—De Paul is one of the game's best kept secrets.
More updates as they become available...