For much of the past 18 months, Roma fans have watched as talented Primavera prospects left the club in droves. From Felix Afena-Gyan to Cristian Volpato to Benjamin Tahirovic, General Manager Tiago Pinto has sent away a lot of young talent. Granted, Roma's Financial Fair Play restrictions influenced some of those sales, but if the latest rumors prove true, Pinto's final move as Roma's GM could see the club acquire one of Italy's finest young talents.
According to multiple outlets in Italy, the Giallorossi are keen on pursuing Empoli's Tommaso Baldanzi. A 20-year-old midfielder from the Siena region, Baldanzi scored four goals for Empoli last year, logging 1,772 league minutes during his debut season. Now, we've certainly seen more impressive debuts over the years, but those four strikes were still good enough to place him third on Empoli's scoring chart last term. Baldanzi was also among the club leaders in key passes, shot-creating actions, and goal-creating actions.
Unsurprisingly, Baldanzi's performance caught the eye of every major club in Italy last year, including Juventus, both Milan clubs and Roma. And if reports from Calciomercato.com are accurate, the Giallorossi may have jumped the queue with word that Pinto has met with Baldanzi's agent, Giuseppe Riso.
According to Calciomercato, Empoli wants €15 million to part with Baldanzi and may even be amenable to an 18-month loan with a mandatory purchase clause, potentially alleviating several financial headaches for Roma.
While there is some speculation Empoli would accept Andrea Belotti as a make weight, his wages are likely too high for the Azzurri's taste, so Roma could potentially include Primavera products Riccardo Pagano, Jan Oliveras, or Mattia Mannini to facilitate the deal.
Adding a 20-year-old attacking midfielder in January may not do much to move Roma's Champions League needle. Still, if the club is really going to lean into the youth movement this summer and beyond, Baldanzi would be a hell of an addition.