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With Roma Low on Funds, Let's Explore Some Free Agent Options

The free agent shelves are almost empty, but there are some intriguing names Roma could land without the hassle of transfer negotiations.

Sevilla FC v FC Copenhagen: Group G - UEFA Champions League Photo by Jose Breton/Pics Action/NurPhoto via Getty Images

If it wasn't already apparent, Roma's grim financial realities have likely smacked you upside the head this summer. With no Champions League revenue in sight and the league itself struggling to keep pace with its continental colleagues, Roma's transfer options are effectively nil. Tiago Pinto's hands are essentially tied if they can't convince a club to say yes to a no-strings-attached loan.

But Roma's Portuguese mastermind has succeeded in the free-agent market, adding Houssem Aouar and Evan N'Dicka on Bosman transfers. While they didn't generate quite as much press as last season's marquee free-agent addition, Paulo Dybala, they are nevertheless expected to be significant contributors this season. And if the early results are any indication, Aouar could be the steal of the summer.

Unfortunately, the well has run dry after those early summer additions. Sure, Roma is fighting tooth and nail to acquire Gianluca Scamacca, Alvaro Morata, Renato Sanches, and/or Marcel Sabitzer, but for all the reasons we outlined above, they've come up empty-handed. Either the player isn't entirely convinced of Roma's project (read: they're not willing to slum it in the Europa League), or the parent club wants a permanent transfer.

It's unfortunate, but without that sweet, sweet Champions League revenue or a sudden reversal of fortunes for the league as a whole, this is Roma's lot in life. And with the season only four weeks away, time is running short. Roma needs additional reinforcements, but the longer they wait for Bayern Munich, West Ham, or PSG's resolve to break, the more they risk coming up empty-handed.

But hey, if the free agent market worked before, why not return to that well?

With that in mind, here are a few choice free agents Roma could consider—but prepare yourself; the pickings are slim.

Daichi Kamada (MF): Formerly of Eintracht Frankfurt

Roma was connected to the Japanese playmaker earlier this summer, and while there are whispers they've since moved on, we'll put him here for posterity's sake. Kamada, 26, has scored 40 goals and provided 29 assists in all competitions for Eintracht Frankfurt over the past four seasons.

He doesn't fill an immediate area of need, but he's a hell of a talent, and lord knows you can never have enough playmakers, particularly with Dybala's injury history.

Wilfried Zaha (F): Formerly of Crystal Palace

Zaha is no stranger to the Roma rumor mill, and while the links have dried up, the Giallorossi's dormant attack needs extra juice up top. With 34 goals in all competitions the past three seasons, Zaha provides that in spades. And as an added bonus, Zaha can play up top, out wide, and even as an attacking midfielder in a pinch.

Adama Traoré (RW): Formerly of Wolves

This man (and his cartoonish biceps) needs no introduction. While he looks better suited for American football, Traoré is a decent footballer, even if he's not a prolific goal scorer. But he makes up for his lack of scoring in progressive play and efficient dribbling, as he ranked 90th percentile or higher in both categories compared to other wingers in Europe's five major leagues, according to Football Reference.

Isco (F/MF): Formerly of Sevilla

It just wouldn't be summer transfer rumor season if we didn't include our old friend Francisco Román Alarcón Suárez. Better known as Isco, the Spanish midfielder/forward finally left Real Madrid after nine years as a bit player at the Bernabeu. Isco hasn't played more than 1,000 league minutes since 2019, so we'd have no earthly idea what he could contribute, but once Roma's injuries start piling up, Isco could conceivably fill in for everyone from Dybala to Aouar to El Shaarawy.

Roberto Pereyra (MF): Formerly of Udinese

A veteran of eight Serie A seasons, the Argentinian midfielder proved he has a bit of life left in his 32-year-old legs, scoring five goals and chipping in eight assists in all competitions for Udinese last season. Capable of anywhere in midfield, Pereyra offers the same(ish) blend of skills as Sanches or Sabitzer with a fraction of the headaches—hell, he even played wing-back last season.

In that light, Pereyra might make the most sense of any of the names on this list. He's not a defensive wizard by any stretch of the imagination, but Mourinho can drop him nearly anywhere on the pitch, and he'll lend a creative hand to Lorenzo Pellegrini and Paulo Dybala, among others.

Things are looking bleak for Tiago Pinto and Roma on the transfer market, so adding another free agent (or two) could be the club's only means of outfitting their squad for a tough top-four fight next season.

So, what do you think: do any of these names tempt you?