We're only three days away from Roma's first fixture of the season, a home tilt against Salernitana. However, the song remains the same: the Giallorossi still have not found a replacement for injured striker Tammy Abraham. From Gianluca Scamacca to Duvan Zupata to Luis Muriel to Wout Weghorst to Marcos Leonardo, Roma has been connected to a swath of strikers but has come up empty-handed.
Whether it was their limited finances or their would-be transfer partners continually changing terms, Tiago Pinto has been frustrated at every turn in his attempt to find an alternative to Andrea Belotti up top. And now, with the season a mere 72 hours away, the press has linked the Giallorossi with two new names: Sporting Braga's Abel Ruiz and PSG's Huge Ekitike.
According to Gianluca Di Marzio, Roma has already contacted Braga about Ruiz's availability. A 23-year-old Spanish forward, Ruiz is one of many La Masia products that found life in Barcelona too crowded, leading to his €8 million transfer to Braga in 2020. After a slow start in Portugal, Ruiz came to life last season, scoring nine goals and adding six assists in 42 appearances in all competitions. Currently valued at €14 million by Transfermarkt, Ruiz's contract expires in 2025.
If Ruiz doesn't wet your whistle, how about PSG's 21-year-old French forward Hugo Ekitike? A 6'2" striker from Reims, Ekitike began his career in Denmark before returning to his hometown club, where he bagged 10 league goals in little more than 1,200 minutes during the 2021-2022 season. Thanks to this impressive debut, PSG dropped a reported €35 million to land Ekitike on loan last year, and while he found playing time hard to come by, he still pumped in three goals and four assists in 1,155 league minutes.
However, like so many of PSG's fringe players this summer, he's been left out in the cold by new manager Luis Enrique, leading Di Marzio to link him to Roma. And given how much business the two clubs have done over the past several years, perhaps this is the path of least resistance, presuming the Parisiens are amenable to another loan with an option to buy.
No matter who they sign, the onus will be squarely on Andrea Belotti's broad shoulders early in the season. Still, as options for the future, Ruiz and Ekitike are intriguing possibilities.