With Roma's 2020-2021 season set to conclude following their Round 38 match against Spezia on Sunday, the club's Mourinho makeover seems poised to begin almost immediately thereafter. While Paulo Fonseca and The Special One are busy packing and making travel arrangements, Roma GM Tiago Pinto is reportedly hard at work, weighing up alternatives for a new striker to lead Mourinho's line in 2021 and beyond.
Mourinho has yet to officially take office, but we're already seeing the field of candidates narrow slightly. Fresh off his breakout season with Fiorentina, one in which he became one of the youngest players in league history to score 20 goals or more, Dusan Vlahovic has likely priced himself out of Roma range, if not the whole of Serie A, so we can likely cross him off the list.
Couple this with the dwindling stories connecting the likes of Mauro Icardi and Moise Kean to Roma and it seems as though Mourinho and Pinto have found their target: Torino striker Andrea Belotti.
While Pinto has been probing Torino's interest in selling the 27-year-old striker for several months, reportedly offering a loan plus obligation to buy deal in January, with a new manager in tow, Pinto is ready to test those waters again:
According to the Corriere dello Sport, Pinto has re-opened dialogue with Torino President Urbano Cairo about bringing Belotti to Roma next season. While Torino reportedly values Belotti at €30 million, with his contract expiring in 2022, the CdS speculates that Pinto may be able to whittle down that price tag a bit while he's prepared to offer Belotti a €3.5 million per season salary.
The CdS is quick to point out at AC Milan remain interested in Belotti, who may prefer moving to a Champions League club, so Cairo may wait a few weeks to see if he can start a bidding war between Roma and Milan, who are not yet guaranteed a place in next season's Champions League.
We'll keep tabs on this story as it develops, but as May gives way to June, Belotti is emerging as Roma's top transfer target. Stay tuned.