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Roma Looks to Move Out-of-Favor Players and Youngsters to Satisfy FFP Obligations (Update: Tahirovic to Ajax for €8.5M)

Benjamin Tahirovic is the latest U-23 talent linked with a move away from Roma. Can Tiago Pinto possibly satisfy the club’s FFP obligations without sacrificing a big fish?

AS Roma v Salernitana - Serie A Photo by Matteo Ciambelli/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

The signings of Houssem Aouar and Evan Ndicka on free transfers have drawn Roma rave reviews from fans and pundits alike. Meanwhile, rumors of who will replace Tammy Abraham and the Davide Frattesi saga have dominated the headlines in the early days of the summer transfer market.

Those stories make for exciting reading, which allows the fanbase to dream of what José Mourinho's roster could look like for the upcoming season, but the transfer market works both ways, and Roma's outgoing transfers are no less important, especially since the club has to satisfy FFP requirements by June 30th.

And when Abraham went down with a torn ACL just ten minutes before the season ended, it meant that Roma's most valuable asset was essentially deemed worthless—at least for this summer—meaning Tiago Pinto can't satisfy UEFA with one big sale.

Considering that, it's been assumed that Roger Ibañez would be the sacrificial lamb this summer, with rumored interest coming from Sevilla and Tottenham. However, we know all too well how larger teams use the June 30th FFP deadline to force Roma to sell their prized assets at discounted rates.

Pinto will have to go a different route to avoid that fate: trim the fat and maximize your U-23 sales.

Trimming the Roster Fat

The Giallorossi have several players returning from loan, including Carles Perez, Matias Viña, Justin Kluivert, Gonzalo Villar, Eldor Shomorudov, and Bryan Reynolds, and all six are said to be on the way back out—permanently if Pinto has his way.

Fortunately, Roma may have found one suitor for two of those players. Premier League side Bournemouth is reportedly keen on bringing back Viña, who spent last season there on loan, even though the Cherries declined the €17 million option. Meanwhile, the Cherries have also reportedly made Kluivert one of their top targets this summer after his season on loan at Valencia. No amounts were thrown around in the most recent reports, but Roma may be able to satisfy most, if not all, of their FFP fines if Bournemouth buys both players outright.

Carles Perez is reportedly keen on remaining with Celta Vigo after he grew comfortable there last season. However, Roma rejected the first official offer of €5 million and is said to be holding out for €8 million. Meanwhile, Reynolds seems keen on staying with Westerlo of the Belgian league. Lastly, according to recent reports, Gonzalo Villar is reportedly being tracked by promoted sides Cagliari and Genoa; Roma is willing to let him leave for as little as €4 million.

Cashing in on Academy Graduates

While most Romanisti wouldn't bat an eyelash if Pinto moved those players, some fans may balk at selling Roma's high-rated youth players to satisfy the FFP rules. And plenty of names have been bandied around the rumor mill, most notably Nicola Zalewski.

Considering how large of a role the Polish international had in Mourinho's side this season, his inclusion on this list is somewhat surprising. However, since he's a homegrown player, any sale would be a straight profit, and it's said that Roma could command €20 million for Zalewski from his Premier League admirers.

While Zalewski would present the most significant profit, there haven't been reports of any specific offers reported, so this may be a last resort. The more likely sale, however, would see Cristian Volpato and possibly Filippo Missori move to Sassuolo. Volpato's potential sale has been swirling for over a week now, with the clubs reportedly agreeing to a €9 million transfer, which may or may not grease the wheels for a potential Davide Frattesi transfer.

On Sunday, another name also came to the spotlight: Benjamin Tahirovic. The 20-year-old Bosnian broke into Roma's first team this season under Mourinho and Nemanja Matic's watchful eyes. It's reported that his future lies outside of the Italian capital and likely in the Dutch capital of Amsterdam. Gianluca DiMarzio reports that Tahirovic could go to Ajax on a permanent transfer.

No price tag has been mentioned yet (though he's rumored to cost anywhere from €5 to €10 million), but there is also interest from other clubs. That could play into Pinto's hands.

With all of these players likely on the move at some point this summer, Tiago Pinto could satisfy a chunk of Roma's FFP requirements without being rushed into a Roger Ibañez deal.

We'll provide updates as they become available, but in the meantime, let us know your FFP exit strategy.

Update: Tahirovic Sold to Ajax

According to sources in Italy, Tahirovic will move to Ajax for €8.5 million, with Roma retaining 15% of any future resale.