With Euro 2020 on hiatus before the Round of 16 begins tomorrow, the Roma rumor mill went into overdrive today. From goalkeeper comings and goings to want away wingers to Chris Smalling replacements, there was no shortage of transfer tidbits in the Romaverse today. So, before we shift our focus back to Roberto Mancini and the Azzurri tomorrow, let's take a quick whip through the rumor mill.
Pau Lopez & Cengiz Ünder to Marseille?
With Rui Patricio's move to Roma waiting on a few last-minute details, sources in the Italian press chimed in with a corresponding move for Roma's current number one keeper, Pau Lopez. According to Sky Sport, Ligue 1 outfit Marseille are interested in welcoming Lopez to southern France on a €1 to €2 million loan with a €15 million option to buy, with certain presumably easily achievable benchmarks that would make the option compulsory.
Adding Patricio to a goalkeeper room that already includes Robin Olsen and Lopez, both of whom are signed for next season and beyond, is far from ideal, so if Tiago Pinto is able to find a permanent home for Lopez, the Patricio move becomes a bit more palatable from a financial perspective.
Sky also suggests that Marseille may be interested in Cengiz Ünder, who recently returned from an unsuccessful loan stint with Leicester City and appears to have no immediate future with José Mourinho's Roma.
Merih Demiral to Replace Smalling for €40 Million—No, Seriously
File this rumor under the WTF section. Earlier today, sources in the Italian press linked Juventus defender Merih Demiral with a move to Roma. In and of itself, there is nothing wrong with that move; Demiral is a decent player and a more than capable replacement for Chris Smalling, who is a rumored Everton transfer target. The problem is, quite simply, the cost—which is exorbitant.
According to Sky Sport, Smalling, who was initially viewed as untransferable by José Mourinho, would be allowed to leave if Everton comes calling. In the event of a vacancy in Roma's backline, Pinto would turn to Juventus defender Merih Demiral, who the Old Lady deem worth €40 million—straight cash.
I don't even have the words to describe how absurd this rumor (and that figure) is. With Juan Jesus gone and Federico Fazio likely to follow him out the door, Roma could use a veteran defender to augment their somewhat inexperienced backline, but there have to be cheaper and better options available.
Setting all of that aside, it's fair to question if Roma even needs Demiral. Having already invested significant sums of money in Gianluca Mancini, Roger Ibañez, and Marash Kumbulla, would it really be prudent to invest a further €40 million in Demiral, who may not even be a clear cut starter for Roma? Throw in the fact that his arrival would likely hamper Kumbulla and/or Ibañez's development and this rumor looks incredibly flimsy.
Something tells me this story will disappear rather quickly, but if you were ever curious why they call this time of year silly season, well, look no further.
Roma Flipping for Filip Kostic
We're a day late on this one, but an interesting new name popped up on Roma's radar yesterday: Eintracht Frankfurt winger Filip Kostic. The soon-to-be 29-year-old Serbian winger has made the Bundesliga his personal playground over the past few years, compiling an eye-popping 20 goals and 35 assists since the start of the 2018 season.
While a wide player may not seem like a top priority, Sky Sport and Sportitalia have both connected the dots between Kostic and the Stadio Olimpico. Of course, that kind of production comes at a cost—a steep cost. According to these same sources, Frankfurt value Kostic at some €25 to €30 million; a price that Roma may deem prohibitive, particularly for a player creeping towards his 30th birthday.
Gianluca Di Marzio adds that Roma has been in contact with Kostic's agent but would need to make one (if not more) sales prior to bringing Kostic aboard.
That's it for now, but if the past several days have proven anything, we should expect a deluge of transfer stories any time Euro 2020 takes a minute off.
So, as always, stay tuned.