If it feels like we've mentioned the name Riccardo Calafiori more in the past two weeks then in the past two years, don't worry, you're not hallucinating. Once nothing more than another promising Roman in the ranks, Calafiori's late season cameo against Juventus, coupled with Aleksandar Kolarov's impending exit to Inter Milan, has suddenly transformed the 18-year-old from an intriguing fringe prospect into an actual piece of Roma's 2020-2021 puzzle.
There is just one small problem, one made potentially worse now that other teams are sniffing around the young left-back: his contract is set to expire in June 2022. With clubs like Fiorentina and Juventus expressing interest in Calafiori, Roma are reportedly set to offer the teenager a new deal:
Due giovani terzini della #Roma al centro del mercato: giallorossi al lavoro per blindare con il rinnovo Riccardo #Calafiori (2002) che può restare nonostante le tante richieste sia in prestito sia a titolo definitivo. Devid #Bouah (2001) può andare a giocare: piace al #Bologna— Nicolò Schira (@NicoSchira) September 6, 2020
With Calafiori now suddenly part of their present, Roma are reportedly keen on tying Calafiori's future to the city of his birth. According to Nicolo Schira, Roma are working to extend Calafiori's contract beyond 2022, while simultaneously sorting out a loan for their other promising young full-back, Devid Bouah.
In the wake of Roma reportedly rebuffing a €7 million offer from Fiorentina and the shortage of rumors connecting them to a new left-back, it seems as though Calafiori is being given a legitimate chance to carve out a role alongside Leonardo Spinazzola as Roma's left-back/left wing-back this season.
This would certainly be a welcomed development for a club that's struggled to promote Primavera products to the first team. What's more, having an in-house asset assume such a large role in the first team is bound to save Roma some money in the short-term.
Contract or no contract, Calafiori seems set to garner some serious minutes this season and will be one of the biggest story lines of new season.