At one point or another, I'm sure most of us played Telephone, the children's game in which a secret phrase is whispered from person to person, passing the message along a chain of several players. It may not be the most complicated game in the world, but it's a fun enough way to occupy pre-schoolers for 10 minutes, especially when the final child repeats the initial message, which typically goes through several innocent but hilarious changes as it moves from ear to ear.
Late last week, the Romaverse was unwittingly plunged into a game of Telephone after a fake Twitter profile floated a story that Roma and PSG were discussing a Marco Verratti transfer. Caught up in the excitement, multiple Roma sites (us included) jumped on the story. It may have been too good to be true, but it was also too exciting to ignore; Verratti is that good.
In the end, it perfectly encapsulates the current state of social media and the transfer cycle itself, where stories are published daily with minimal regard for accuracy.
So, at the risk of getting duped again, we're going to pass along this update, as it were. According to the Corriere della Sera, not only is Roma interested in the 30-year-old PSG midfielder, but José Mourinho has already reached out to Verratti to sell him on the merits of life in Roma and the club's latest project.
The entire update consists of little more than two sentences, so it's not a substantive source, but the idea itself makes sense. For weeks now, the press has speculated on Verratti's future, linking him with moves to Manchester City and the Saudi league, so it's not inconceivable that Verratti will leave PSG this summer.
The problem, as far as Roma fans are concerned, is Verratti's nearly €15 million salary. While Italy's Growth Decree tax law would likely knock several million off Verratti's wages, he'd still check in as the club's highest-paid player, barring a new deal for Paulo Dybala.
Nevertheless, the Corriere claims that Mourinho has personally contacted Verratti to persuade the former Pescara player, who has never actually played in Serie A, to join him in the Italian capital.
Between the Growth Decree savings and the cordial relationship between the two clubs, this rumor isn't entirely far-fetched. Still, Roma would need several stars to align before we see Verratti decked out in red and yellow next season.