With the possible exceptions of Francesco Totti and Daniele De Rossi back in the day, I'm not sure Roma fans have ever sweated out a contract renewal quite like Lorenzo Pellegrini's. Thanks to his impressive play over the past few seasons, Pellegrini has slowly climbed up the ladder of Europe's best midfielders—and seems to have skipped a few rungs thanks to his scorching start this season—all of which made his paltry €30 million release clause perhaps the worst-kept secret in all of football.
With clubs all over the continent licking their lips at the thought of landing a 25-year-old midfielder at a discount rate, or worse still, signing him as a free agent come June, Roma fans the world over have been waiting with bated breath for today's announcement.
| ️— AS Roma English (@ASRomaEN) October 2, 2021
New contract... ✅
#ASRoma | @LorePelle7 pic.twitter.com/1oclel26Ij
Moments ago, the club officially announced that the club captain and hometown hero has signed a new deal through June 2026, extending a career that began when Pellegrini was a promising young kid in the club's youth academy. Pellegrini, who made his official Roma debut in March of 2015 against Cesena, found it hard to capture the emotions of this moment:
It’s impossible for me to explain this feeling, it’s what I’ve always wanted – to cement this bond between myself and my team and my city...You couldn’t imagine a greater feeling than this.
I feel truly honoured that the ownership, Tiago [Pinto] and the coach have always considered me so important; I will try to repay that faith every day on the pitch by giving 110 per cent and doing everything I can to keep improving
Roma GM Tiago Pinto then gave a bit of insight into the process behind this renewal:
From the moment I started work here a key target was to agree a contract extension with Lorenzo: for that reason this is a very significant day for me,” said Tiago Pinto, the club’s General Manager.
Lorenzo is the perfect example of the core characteristics of our sporting project; not just because of his evident ability as a player but also because, being a Rome-born, Roma fan who was developed within our academy system, he shares a bond with the club that makes him a pillar of what we are building.
No sporting project can be put in place without a clear and strong identity underpinning it
While the financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed, we can safely assume that Pellegrini will receive a healthy raise while the release clause, if indeed there is one, will likely be substantially higher than €30 million.
Either way, we can now sleep sound in the knowledge that Roma will once again be led by a Roman for the foreseeable future. For his part, this renewal represents a tremendous sign of faith in the 25-year-old, who appears to be improving by the week.