I'll leave it to the historians to write the true epilogue for 2020 when the time comes, but surely the warping of time will be one of the year's lasting legacies. Here we are, mere weeks away from fall (or spring, depending on your location at the moment), yet it still feels like July or maybe March or maybe 2022. With so much doom and gloom in the news and so much of life's escapes either erased or twisted beyond recognition, it can be difficult to find one's bearings.
In normal times, we'd be gearing up for round two or three of the Serie A season. The transfer window would have slammed shut and we'd be preparing for the long haul of yet another season of calcio.
The pandemic hasn't stopped time but it's taken all our usual mile markers of progress—March Madness, Spring Training, the Home Run Derby, NFL training camp, summer blockbuster season, the return of the Mc Rib—and scattered them like so much dust in the wind.
But, here we are, at the doorstep of powdered donut and cider season yet we're still knee deep in transfer rumors. And making matters worse, Roma hasn't done much of anything yet, which makes this odd confluence of season and rumor cycle seem all the more strange, all the more annoying, and all the more frustrating.
But I digress, let's see what's poppin’ in the Romaverse today.
Fiorentina Bid for Riccardo Calafiori
Yesterday, I pined for Roma to sign Metz's Fabien Centonze to challenge Bruno Peres for the right-back spot. And while I still stand by that, if we take the complete lack of action or rumors at the opposite flank as any indication, then the rumors may be true: Roma may actually give Riccardo Calafiori a chance to share minutes with Leonardo Spinazzola this season.
It would be a welcomed development for a club with a spotty record of graduating Primavera talents to the first team, but it hasn't stopped teams from checking in on the young Roman. Indeed, way back in May we tabbed him as the first player likely to be sold by the new administration.
Despite his seeming ascendance in Paulo Fonseca's eyes, Fiorentina reportedly made a €7 million offer for the 18-year-old left-back, which was quickly rebuffed according to the Corriere dello Sport.
Ünder Agrees to Personal Terms with Napoli
While we haven't had much movement on the Edin Dzeko-Arkadisuz Milik-Cengiz Ünder front, it sure seems like Ünder's future rests outside of Rome. According to Il Mattino, Ünder has agreed to personal terms with Napoli on three-year deal that would pay him some €3 million per season.
This source, which is a new one to me, claims a deal could come together next week. But, as we outlined last week, Napoli's excessive demands for Milik (two players plus potentially €20 million in cash) border on ludicrous when you consider their complete lack of leverage—Milik's contract expires in one year and his preferred destination, Juve, seem keen on other options like Luis Suarez.
Fazio Contract Auto-Renewed Through 2022
Roma's one-track mind this summer—cutting salary and/or superfluous talent—may have just taken a hit with news that a clause in Fazio's contract was just triggered. According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Fazio's contract with Roma, which was set to expire next June, now carries an extra year, as Fazio met certain appearance-based benchmarks that pushed the deal through June 2022.
Keeping an experienced defender like Fazio on the rolls wouldn't be the worst thing, but shedding his €2.5 million salary and replacing him with a younger player has to be high on Guido Fienga's list.
Juan Jesus Undecided on Genoa Move
While Roma and the Genoa Cricket and Football Club have the scaffolding of a Juan Jesus deal in place, there is one crucial component missing—Jesus’ okay. According to the GdS, Jesus has yet to consent to a move northward, meaning Roma are still on the hook for his €2.2 million salary.
This is a bit of a divisive issue among Roma fans, but if he's content with his life in Rome and doesn't mind his minor role, who are we to argue? Jesus’ contract expires in June of 2021, so he may just be content to cash that last check and then look for a gig with a smaller club next season.
That’s just a smattering of today's rumors, we'll hop on anything particularly juicy if and when it happens. Stick with us today for our coverage of Italy's Nation's League match against Bosnia & Herzegovina.