Since returning to Sevilla in March of 2019, Monchi, Roma's former Director of Sport, has reclaimed his reputation as one of the best scouts and assemblers of talent in European football. While that's all well and good, he'll likely never worm his way back into the good graces of Roma fans, for whom he remains a pariah thanks to, shall we say, a series of underwhelming transactions during his brief stay in Italy.
While Monchi was able to balance Roma's net transfer spending upon arriving in the capital, the club remains saddled by his profligate spending on players like Patrik Schick, Robin Olsen, Javier Pastore, and Steven Nzonzi. Monchi's successors did well to sell Shick and managed to find temporary homes for Olsen and Nzonzi but the weight of those decisions, both literally and figuratively, continues to plague the club as they struggle to keep their heads above water.
Pastore may be the poster boy for Monchi's Misfits but Steven Nzonzi isn't far behind his Argentinian teammate. Signed to a four-year deal in the summer of 2018, Monchi committed the cardinal sin of paying for a World Cup bounce (one of two such decisions that summer), inking Nzonzi to a four-year deal fresh off France's 2018 World Cup triumph.
Nzonzi made 30 league appearances for Roma during his first season with the Giallorossi but he was quickly pushed out of town the following summer, spending the first half of the 2019-2020 season on loan with Galatasaray in Turkey before moving to Rennes in January of 2020, where he's remained ever since.
Technically still a Roma player, Nzonzi played well enough for Rennes over the past 18 months that speculation ran rampant the French club would negotiate a permanent transfer for the 32-year-old midfielder.
Despite logging nearly 3,000 minutes for Rennes this past season, L’Equipe crushed our hopes this morning:
According to L’Equipe, Rennes has decided not to retain Nzonzi for the 2021-2022 season, putting Roma in a bit of a pickle. While Roma has been connected to a host of midfielders this summer, something tells me that a 32-year-old defensive midfielder isn't at the top of José Mourinho's Roma wishlist.
The sort of good news is that Roma is only on the hook for Nzonzi and his €3 million salary for one more year but Roma GM Tiago Pinto will likely spend the next several days and weeks trying to find a new home for Nzonzi—wherever that might be.
But, lest you think this is the end of the rainbow, Roma still has two more years before they're officially rid of Pastore and Olsen.
Thanks again, Monchi!