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With Rui Patricio Aging, Is Marco Carnesecchi Roma’s Next Number One?

Even ignoring his poor form to start the season, Rui Patricio is fighting a losing battle against Father Time. Has Tiago Pinto already tabbed the Portuguese international’s replacement?

Football Serie A Frosinone-Atalanta Photo by Massimo Insabato/Archivio Massimo Insabato/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images

Since the sale of world-beater Alisson Becker to Liverpool in 2018, Roma has never truly settled on a long-term solution between the sticks. That’s not to say that Roma hasn’t looked for long-term goalkeeper solutions - Pau Lopez, Mile Svilar, and Rui Patricio were all brought in at one time or another with an eye towards lasting several seasons as a strong number one option - but none of them have either broken through into continually starting or made a strong argument to hold the number one shirt in perpetuity.

Each summer since Alisson’s departure has featured several rumors about a hotshot new young Italian goalkeeper lined up by Roma’s management to lead the side for the next decade. Wladimiro Falcone, Simone Scuffet (remember him?), and Andrea Consigli jump to mind as players repeatedly connected with the Giallorossi. None of those transfer have come to pass, leaving a gaping hole in Roma’s long-term planning only exacerbated by Rui Patricio’s age and poor form.

Enter Marco Carnesecchi, allegedly.

La Repubblica is now reporting that Roma are one of several clubs looking into the new hotness among Italian goalkeepers, Marco Carnesecchi of Atalanta. The 23-year-old shot-stopper has long been hyped as an exciting goalkeeping prospect, and he spent the last two seasons on loan at Cremonese before returning home to Bergamo, the club who has nominally held his contract since 2017.

This season was thought by some to be his chance at breaking into Atalanta’s starting eleven, yet Carnesecchi has only started two matches in Serie A, with Gian Piero Gasperini sticking with Juan Musso instead of the Rimini-born Italian U-21 international. This has put the major players in Serie A on high alert, with Juventus, both Milan clubs, and Lazio all reportedly interested in finally giving Carnesecchi his big chance. If La Repubblica’s report is true, Tiago Pinto is keen on joining that list, though that does not mean that Roma would be an automatic winner of the Carnesecchi sweepstakes.

Atalanta’s reported asking price for Carnesecchi is €25 million, a pretty penny for a goalkeeper with limited top-flight experience but a potential steal for the second-most hyped Italian goalkeeper behind Gigi Donnarumma. Some reports suggest that Roma and Juventus, the two main competitors for Carnesecchi’s signature, are only willing to go to between €15 and €18 million; others suggest that Carnesecchi may not even be Roma’s number one priority heading into a summer where they will undoubtedly spend significantly on a goalkeeper. Whatever the case may be, expect serious movement (and a lot of unserious rumors) around Roma’s future goalkeeper for the next several months. Who knows, maybe this time the Alisson replacement will actually stick.