With a modern ascension line that began with Francesco Totti over twenty years ago, and being stewarded into the next decade by Daniele De Rossi, Roma being led by Romans is, in so many ways, what makes this club special. The bond between the city and the fans, which is so dependent upon the shared culture and history between those on the pitch and those in the stands, is not to be trifled with—it’s the reason why Roma is to be loved and not discussed. That love, that bond and, yes, that codependency, is sacrosanct—you break it at your own peril.
As next in line to the Roma throne, the future of Alessandro Florenzi at AS Roma is no small matter. Ale may not have Totti’s grace or De Rossi’s fury on the pitch, but he is no less a part of the AS Roma eucharist than his predecessors. Florenzi’s skill, his malleability and his willingness to subvert his ego for the greater good of his hometown club have only served to increase his standing among the tifosi.
We mention all of this in the context of Florenzi’s soon to be expiring contract. With only 18 months remaining on his deal, and with the likes of (you guessed it) Chelsea, hot after him, Florenzi may be a hot property on the transfer market, all of which could lead to quite a contentious negotiation between Ale and Roma.
Florenzi’s current deal pays him €1.7 million and runs through 2019. To mere mortals, that’s a hell of a lot of money, but when you consider his skill and stature with the club, the fact that he makes as much as Bruno Peres, less than Federico Fazio, and only a touch more than Rick Karsdorp is a bit troubling in this context.
So, with Florenzi’s deal expiring and other options on the table, he may have a fair bit of leverage in these negotiations. With rumors of a €4 million salary being bandied about, it seems as though Florenzi’s reps are shooting for the moon. A salary at that figure would put Florenzi roughly on par with Edin Dzeko and Radja Nainggolan as the club’s highest earners, and would place him among only a handful of players league wide topping the four million mark.
While no middle point has been reported, multiple sources, spurred by the Corriere dello Sport, indicate that progress towards a renewal has been made. When you run down Roma’s wage bill, certainly one can envision Florenzi making €2.5 to €3 million per season, which would put in the same neighborhood with Patrik Schick and Daniele De Rossi...also, Juan Jesus makes €2.2 million, sixth highest on the club...yeesh.
Arguments can certainly be made (though not by me) that Roma shouldn’t over pay for Florenzi simply because he sprang from the city’s streets, but with this club and this fan base, you can’t discount that emotional factor. Florenzi isn’t a world beater by any means, but surely he deserves to be compensated on par with Shick or Kevin Strootman.
One thing is for sure, the longer this thing drags out, the uglier it’s going to get. Roma fans don’t have many hills to die on, but they clutch their own tight to the breast.