Roma'sWith Houssem Aouar already en route and Evan Ndicka nearly finalized, it looks like the transfer market is off to a cracking start. Nevertheless, rather than quelling the usual storm of transfer rumors that immediately start flooding the airwaves at the end of each season, those nearly-done deals are only feeding the beast. In fact, since those moves have been all but confirmed by Gianluca DiMarzio, additional rumors have started to fly in at even greater numbers.
Tiago Pinto was quoted after meeting with his Sassuolo counterpart, Giovanni Carnevali, on Wednesday morning in Milan, "I only want to sell." And that's mainly because Roma needs to raise €30 million before the end of June to satisfy UEFA's FFP agreement. However, just because Pinto says he only wants to sell doesn't mean that he's not quietly trying to reinforce José Mourinho's squad.
With that in mind, let's look at some of the most recent rumors and give our take on each.
Roma and Sassuolo Meet for Frattesi and Others
Last summer, the rumors of a return home for Davide Frattesi persisted throughout the summer. However, with Sassuolo playing hardball, Roma brought Gini Wijanldum on loan instead. Now, Frattesi is again linked with the Giallorossi, Inter, and Juve.
Frattesi was said to be the main point of discussion between Pinto and Carnevali, with transfer guru Di Marzio saying that Carnevali has put a €30 million price tag on his star midfielder. Roma does still have a 30% sell-on fee that could be used to help mitigate the cost. Plus, Di Marzio reported that Roma youngsters Cristian Volpato and Filippo Missori were also discussed.
Additionally, Corriere dello Sport also claims that Jose Mourinho wants Sassuolo captain Domenico Berardi to reinforce Roma's attack ahead of the 2023-24 season. The Italian sports daily says that the 30% sell-on fee for Frattesi, as well as youngsters, could be used to bring in the Italian veteran.
Our Take: The Frattesi rumors were always going to cycle back around after Roma's failed pursuit last year. The fact that he came through the Roma system will always make him a desirable target, especially with rivals like Juve and Inter sniffing around. Nobody at Trigoria will want to see Frattesi flourish in the industrial north when he can be starring for his boyhood club.
With Wijnaldum heading back to PSG, there is a need for another midfielder, so this rumor seems to have legs. Still, it likely comes down to how much Roma can bring down the cash payment. If Roma can sign Youri Tielemans for free, then Frattesi probably becomes redundant.
Meanwhile, as Bren put it in one of our conversations, the Berardi rumor feels like "an annual rite of passage." This move would've made more sense under EDF or Fonseca than Mourinho. But, if the Frattesi move fails to materialize, then maybe Pinto sees an opportunity to bring in a proven Serie A goal-creator on the cheap using the Frattesi money and some youngsters.
Roma Target Mauro Icardi and M’Bala Nzola
Gazzetta dello Sport is reporting that with Tammy Abraham out potentially nine months after his ACL surgery, Roma will target another striker to rotate with Andrea Belotti. The proposed names are Nzola of Spezia and former Inter striker Mauro Icardi. Both strikers have been linked in the past and are coming off strong seasons. Nzola—who still has a match to play this weekend to save Spezia's Serie A status—has scored 13 goals in 31 games. Meanwhile, Icardi, who spent the season on loan at Galatasaray from PSG, scored 23 goals in 26 matches in Turkey.
Nzola is valued at €10 million, but Roma could use Eldor Shomorudov and youngster Benjamin Tahirovic to cover the fee. Meanwhile, there was no price tag put on Icardi, who has one year left on his contract with the Parisians. However, the pink paper claims that the strong relationship between Dan Friedkin and Nasser Al-Khelaïfi could be key in facilitating a deal.
Our Take: While Nzola seems likelier to happen, especially if Spezia loses to the relegation playoff to Hellas Verona this weekend, I wouldn't rule out the Icardi move. As evidenced by his superb season in Turkey, at 30 years old, Icardi still has plenty to give. And while he is a bit eccentric, with Mourinho in charge and strong locker room culture, the Argentine could take advantage of a return to a top European league. This is one to watch, even if the salary requires some finagling.
Roma Wants Llorente On Permanent Deal
Filippo Biafora has reported that although Roma declined to exercise the €18 million option to make Deigo Llorente's loan deal from Leeds United permanent, the club wants to bring him back permanently. And in the coming weeks, Roma will try to negotiate a new deal with the recently relegated English side.
Our Take: While it's no surprise that Roma didn't exercise the option to buy, I'm not surprised Mourinho would want the Spaniard back. If Ndicka is on the way in and Roger Ibañez could potentially be sacrificed to the FFP gods, then Llorente makes plenty of sense as a fourth CB. With Leeds relegated and in need of selling, it wouldn't surprise me to see Llorente back for about half of that original option.
That's it for now but stick with us this summer as we track all the silly season's twists and turns.