Rather than dwelling on Roma's dispiriting 1-0 loss to Feyenoord in the first leg of the Europa League Quarterfinals this afternoon, we'll shift our gaze forward a few months. While we're still some ten weeks away from the official opening of the summer transfer window, Tiago Pinto and the rest of the Roma brass are hard at work lining up potential additions for next season's squad.
While Roma has no shortage of needs, as today's results proved, the club needs all the help in midfield it can find. For most of the past year, we assumed Roma would bring former academy graduate and Sassuolo maestro Davide Frattesi back into the fold, but Sky Sport's transfer wizard Gianluca Di Marzio has other ideas.
According to Di Marzio, Roma has their eyes set on Lyon's 24-year-old midfielder Houssem Aouar. An impending free agent, Aouar has spent his entire top-flight career with Lyon, racking up 41 goals and 34 assists in all competitions since 2016, and according to Di Marzio's report, Roma has beaten Eintracht Frankfurt, Real Betis, and several other Italian clubs to the punch.
While nothing is official, Aouar was recently spotted in Rome and will, per Di Marzio, sign a five-year deal with the Giallorossi once the transfer window opens in July. This remains purely speculative at this point—and this is certainly not the first time Aouar has been linked with Roma—but Aouar would check multiple boxes for José Mourinho, presuming he returns next season.
Nominally listed as a central midfielder, Aouar can fill virtually every midfield role: withdrawn, advanced, and even out wide on the left, so this move won't necessarily preclude the club from taking a run at Frattesi.
With Roma facing further FFP sanctions, expect the club to be connected to a host of free agents over the coming weeks and months.