Roma may have one Serie A match left on the docket, but you wouldn't know it judging by the Italian media, who seem to be shifting into silly season mode already. The transfer market won't officially open until July, but with domestic leagues across the continent closing up shop this week and the start of Euro 2020 still three weeks away, we can expect a deluge of transfer rumors between now and June 11th, when Italy kicks off the European Championships against Turkey at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome—a stadium that may have a new tenant next season if the Corriere dello Sport is correct.
According to the Corriere dello Sport, Memphis Depay, an impending free agent, could become a transfer target for Roma and José Mourinho. For weeks, if not months, common speculation held that Depay, Lyon's 27-year-old Dutch midfielder/winger/forward, would sign a free agent deal with Barcelona this summer. However, for reasons unknown (or at least unstated), talks between Depay and Barcelona have broken down, with many speculating that Barca will now turn their attention to a different free agent forward, Manchester City's Sergio Aguero.
In light of these rumors, Depay took to Instagram to clarify his future—a term we use loosely, I might add:
In a separate interview with L’Equipe (translation via Football Italia), Depay offered slightly more specificity than his Instagram post afforded:
I have so many memories here, this is my home...It makes me sad to think I will play my last game here. I want to prove my qualities in the biggest club possible, in the best league possible.
I know about Barcelona’s interest, but they are not the only ones.
During his five-year stint with Lyon, Depay eviscerated Ligue 1 defenses, scoring 76 goals and providing 46 assists in 176 appearances in all competitions. Capable of playing attacking midfield, winger, or forward, Depay is one of the most dynamic talents in Europe, twice cracking the double-double for Lyon, including a 20-10 combo this year.
As one would expect given his performances over the past five seasons, Depay will have no shortage of suitors this summer. Despite his popularity, the CdS reasons that if Roma is able to offload Edin Dzeko, who has been connected with the LA Galaxy in MLS, Depay's salary demands won't be an issue.
What might be an issue, however, is the notion that Depay would actually sign with Roma. If you have it in your heart and mind one minute that you're moving to Barcelona, with visions of potentially linking up with Lionel Messi dancing through your head, only to find yourself toiling away in the UEFA Conference League with Roma the next minute...well, that's quite a shock to the system.
While it's true that Depay and Mourinho have a shared history—Depay played only four games for Mourinho in 2016-2017 before being sold to Lyon—that may not be enough to ward off Depay's other suitors, which are sure to include some of the biggest clubs in the world.
But...and it's a big one...if Roma can continue to surprise us, Memphis Depay could be the ideal signing to kick start their latest project. Depay is young, versatile, and can play virtually anywhere in attack. And what's more, he's free!