With Walter Sabatini being given his walking papers several months ago, Roma has been rudderless ever since, guided by a mishmash of voices, the figurehead of which was Ricky Massara. With no clear leadership on the player acquisition side of the business, it’s no wonder Roma was so inactive during the winter transfer window.
Well, fear no more, it seems as though Roma has landed themselves a new sporting director, Ramón Rodríguez Verdejo. The man called Monchi has guided Sevilla for the past 17 years, unearthing such gems as Dani Alves, Sergio Ramos, and Ivan Rakitic. For a full rundown of Monchi’s genius, check this list. All told, Monchi cleared £135,967,000 for his employers (as of May 2016), so you can see what James Pallotta was so fervent in his pursuit of Monchi.
While no details or confirmation has been forthcoming, it is widely speculated that Monchi will officially take the helm at the end of the season, where he’ll determine the futures of Radja Nainggolan, Kostas Manolas, and Antonio Rüdiger, each of whom are increasingly connected to moves away from the Eternal City.
And that’s really the salient point: is the true benefit of Monchi his ability to built a scouting network, or to bleed every dollar out of an asset? Yes, ideally you want your DS to be well suited to both aims, but this is Roma we’re talking about—they have no direction, so it will be interesting to see which of these muscles he’s allowed (or required) to flex more often.
Either way, this is a potentially significant move. While Roma can’t yet compete with Juventus financially, one would imagine Monchi will have more at his disposal than Sevilla, giving him more flexibility in the long run—this summer could be a bloodbath if there’s no assurances of Champions League revenues next season.
More details to come...