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Reports: Renato Sanches Emerging as Frattesi Alternative

Once the next big thing in European football, Renato Sanches’ star has dimmed a bit, but he's a tenacious and talented midfielder—ideal Mourinho fodder.

Paris Saint-Germain v Montpellier HSC - Ligue 1 Uber Eats Photo by Catherine Steenkeste/Getty Images

A few weeks ago, we prematurely named Gianluca Scammaca the fulcrum around which Roma's transfer market would pivot. With Tammy Abraham sidelined until at least March 2024 as he works his way back from a torn ACL in his left knee, Scammaca quickly emerged as the club's number one choice, prompting daily micro "updates" on the club's pursuit of their former academy player.

Well, as it turns out, we were only half right: the Roma rumor mill has been obsessed with a former academy player turned would-be star, just not Scammaca. Rather than the tattooed, statuesque Scammaca spamming the headlines, Davide Frattesi, another former Roma farm hand, has come to dominate the club's transfer headlines.

There's just one small problem: nearly every major club in Italy is following Frattesi. Depending on which paper you read or which day you choose to check in, Frattesi is either about to sign with Inter Milan or waiting for Roma to finally bowl Sassuolo over with an offer they can't refuse.

As a result, the rumor mill has graciously linked Roma with several backup options. According to multiple outlets, including Gianluca Di Marzio, the Giallorossi may turn to PSG midfielder Renato Sanches.

The 25-year-old midfielder burst onto the scene at Euro 2016, becoming the youngest Portuguese player ever called up for an international competition. But the plaudits didn't end there, as Sanches was named Young Player of the Tournament, an honor he soon turned into a €35 million move to Bayern Munich in July 2016.

Unfortunately, things haven't gone swimmingly since then, with Sanches moving from Munich to Swansea, Swansea back to Munich, Munich to Lille, and Lille to Paris. And between all those loan stops, Sanches has dealt with a litany of muscular injuries.

Despite that doom and gloom, Sanches remains an incredibly intriguing midfielder capable of filling various roles, including central mid and defensive mid. Given that versatility, Sanches could conceivably provide cover for all of José Mourinho's midfielders.

Chances are this is just a smoke screen for Roma's continued pursuit of Frattesi, but they could do a lot worse for a second choice than Renato Sanches—provided he's healthy, an important caveat for this particular player.