We're still only halfway through the latest international break, and while there are doubtless transfer rumors left to sift through, we're shifting our attention to more pressing matters today: contract extensions. They're not the most exciting thing to discuss, but unlike the rumor mill, at least these stories have some measure of substance. Contract extension stories tend to drag on for months, but at least they're real; we're not connecting any speculative transfer dots between players, agents, teams, and managers, as is so often the case when attempting to make transfer rumors seem more plausible than they actually are.
And as we put a pin on the weekend, Roma may be getting a jump on the workweek, lining up their ducks for next season already. According to a variety of sources in the Italian media, Roma are prepping a trio of moves ahead of the 2022-2023 season, including two crucial contract extensions and one intriguing transfer.
First up: Henrikh Mkhitaryan. After fearing their old Manchester United riff may tear Roma's lockerroom in two, José Mourinho and Mkhitaryan have seemingly buried the hatchet, as the 33-year-old midfielder has become a lynchpin in Roma's Mourinho Makeover, making nearly 30 appearances in all competitions already, serving a variety of attacking and withdrawn roles. And according to multiple sources, including Tuttomercatoweb, Roma are keen on extending Mkitaryan's stay in the Eternal City, weighing up a new two-year deal for the Armenian veteran.
But that may not be Roma's only midfield move of the week. According to Nicolo Schira, the Giallorossi have been sufficiently impressed by Sérgio Oliveira's first few months in the capital:
#ASRoma want to trigger the option to buy (€13M) to sign Sergio #Oliveira on a permanent deal from #Porto. Ready a contract until 2025. Expected a meeting with Jorge #Mendes at the beginning of April to close the last details. #transfers— Nicolò Schira (@NicoSchira) March 27, 2022
As you can see, Schira reports that Roma are not only going to activate their €13 million option on Oliveira, they're going to sign him to a new three-year deal, locking down another versatile and important piece of Mourinho's midfield through 2025. Oliveira has slowed down after his hot start, but he remains a steadying presence in the club's midfield, so this move should come as little surprise.
And finally, moving away from contract extensions for a moment, Roma's not-so-secret move for Benfica goalkeeper Mile Svilar is all but official. While the club has yet to officially announce the move, according to reports out of Portugal and Belgium, Roma and Svilar have already agreed to a five-year pact that would see the 22-year-old Serbian arrive in Trigoria this summer, presumably backing up Rui Patricio while being eased into action in early-round cup matches next season before taking the reins sometime in the 2023-2024 season.
While we wait on Roma's European fates to sort themselves out for next season, Tiago Pinto is doing the stealth GM work, locking down Mourinho's core players, exercising transfer options, and making a quiet play for the club's keeper of the future.
We'll pass along updates as they become available, but in the absence of any intriguing transfer rumors today, some actual news might be good for a change!