With Euro 2020 dominating the football headlines, it may feel as if the rumor mill has gone into hibernation. However, despite Europe's finest battling for supremacy all over the continent, the undercurrent of speculation and innuendo hasn't simply drifted away. From Lorenzo Pellegrini's future to Javier Pastore's return home to Rui Patricio's possible move to Roma, we'll get you caught up on all the week's rumors.
And we'll start with Roma's captain, Lorenzo Pellegrini
Pellegrini: Renewal or Relocation?
Despite missing out on Europe's showcase event this month with a muscle injury, Italian midfielder Lorenzo Pellegrini has been getting plenty of run in the headlines. With his contract set to expire next year, some of Europe's biggest clubs, including Liverpool and Barcelona, are primed to pounce on Pellegrini's €30 million release clause.
Turning down two of the biggest clubs in the world is no laughing matter, but neither is the prospect of Roma selling their club captain. From his youth spent in the club academy and serving as a ball boy at the Stadio Olimpico to his recent appointment as captain, Pellegrini is about as Roma as they come, so any discussion of a future outside his hometown is fraught with anxiety.
According to the Corriere dello Sport, Pellegrini remains committed to the capital club and the two sides are negotiating a new deal for the 24-year-old, one that would presumably tie him to Roma for the next several years, remove his release clause, and pad his wallet with a hefty raise.
There are some contradictory reports about when and where these negotiations will take place but locking down their captain has to be one of Tiago Pinto's top priorities as the club transitions to life under José Mourinho.
Javier Pastore to Sign with Boca?
Reports out of Argentina (La Voz) suggest that El Flaco has piqued Boca Juniors’ interest, who may be one of several clubs interested in Roma's talented but oft-injured playmaker. From Boca to MLS to Qatar, Pastore seems to have plenty of options to continue his career outside of Europe.
Pastore had a few nice moments down the stretch this season, but removing his hefty wages from the bill will only help Roma in the long run.
Rui Patricio Remains on Roma Radar
While he's busy helping Portugal defend their European title, Wolves keeper Rui Patricio remains an object of interest for José Mourinho, who reportedly views the veteran keeper as the ideal steward for this Roma project. According to multiple sources in the Italian media, Roma remains interested in Patrico but have broadened their scope to include Atalanta keeper Pierluigi Gollini, who could become expendable if Atalanta manages to land Udinese's Juan Musso.
Arsenal Reject Roma's Initial Xhaka Offer
Arsenal have rejected a bid of £12.9m for Granit Xhaka from Roma.— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) June 15, 2021
This update provides us all with a lesson in patience. While the rumor mill would already have Xhaka dressed in Roman red and yellow, the truth isn't quite so simple. José Mourinho may see the 28-year-old Swiss midfielder as the perfect building block for his Roma project, but Roma and Arsenal remain locked in negotiations for the 28-year-old Swiss midfielder.
According to the BBC, the Gunners have rejected Roma's €15 million overture for Xhaka. While they don't speculate on Arsenal's asking price, they are quick to point out that the Giallorossi may already be turning towards Aston Villa's Douglas Luiz as an alternative.
Everton Keen on Chris Smalling?
A bit of an unexpected rumor made the rounds yesterday: Everton is attempting to bring Chris Smalling back to England, a year after Roma bent over backward to make his move from Manchester United permanent. However, after an injury-marred season and with Roma shifting gears from Paulo Fonseca to José Mourinho, Smalling no longer seems like a critical component of Roma's success.
Accordingly, word spread earlier this week that the Merseyside club is interested in acquiring the 31-year-old center-back. However, per LaRoma24, the club is determined to at least break even on the €15 million they invested in Smalling last summer, who would still need to be convinced by Everton's ambitions before agreeing to any move.
Napoli Set to Sign Three Roma Players (Femminile)
We'll end our recap with a look at the women's transfer market, where Napoli is set to land not one, not two, but three Roma players in (almost) one fell swoop. At the top end, Napoli is set to sign Roma's Slovenian full-back Kaja Erzen, who will reportedly sign with Roma's southern rivals on a permanent transfer.
But Erzen won't be making the move alone. Napoli is reportedly signing two Roma youngsters, midfielder Emma Severini and defender Heden Corrado, on one-year loans. Severini, 17, and Corrado, 19, are two of the Giallorosse's youngest and most promising players but they have the misfortune of playing two of Roma's deepest positions and have barely left the bench over the past two seasons.
Moving to 10th place Napoli, Severini and Corrado will hopefully see significant minutes during the 2021-2022 season and return to Roma the following year wiser and stronger.
As the Euros move on to the knockout stages and more and more players return home for the summer, the rumor mill will likely resume its normal pace, and who knows, maybe we'll see some actual signings!