I’m not going to harp on how much I hate the international break anymore, but, my god, something about this current one seems so interminable. But, in a testament to the Goonies-never-say-die spirit of the transfer rumor mill, not even this god awful international break can grind the rumor mill to a halt; it’s rather impressive. Today’s selection features an odd assortment of names, but we’ll keep our discussion confined to two, Edin Dzeko and Brescia’s Sandro Tonali.
We’ll start with Dzeko, sound good?
By any measurement, Dzeko’s Roma career has been a rousing success, yet there’s still this yeah, but stigma attached to him. Whether it was due to his deplorable debut season with the club, or his penchant for missing shots at inopportune moments, Dzeko still doesn’t measure up in some people’s eyes. Nevermind the fact that he is now among the 10 most prolific scorers in club history, Dzeko still suffers more than his fair share of slings and arrows from the Roma fanbase.
Fair or not, Dzeko’s reputation hasn’t diminished among those who actually work in the game. Over the past 18 months, we’ve heard overtures from the likes of Chelsea and both Milan clubs for Dzeko’s services, and today we can add another name to that list, West Ham.
As the story goes, Roma are hoping to cajole Dzeko into reducing his salary in exchange for a longer deal, reportedly offering him a €4 million deal that would run past 2020, the year in which his current deal expires. While it’s a sensible deal for both sides, West Ham are more than willing to swoop in should Dzeko refuse this restructured extension, to the tune of €25 million if the reports are true.
For Roma, that’s a ten million profit on a player about to turn 33-years-old. While Dzeko profiles as the type of player who will age well, we all know what happens when you wave money in Roma’s face. Throw in the €42 million kid chomping at the bit behind him, and this rumor might actually hold a bit of water.
On the opposite end of the experience spectrum, but still valued at €25 million, is Brescia’s 18-year-old midfielder Sandro Tonali. Dubbed the new Andrea Pirlo, Tonali’s performances in Serie B, not to mention with the Azzurri at the youth level, has drawn interest from a host of larger European clubs, including Roma, Milan, Chelsea and Inter, the latter of whom are attempting to jump the queue by offer that €25 million already.
We obviously have no idea the extent to which this rumor is true, but given how much Roma has invested in their midfield already, both financially and in terms of signing young talent, I remain a bit skeptical of this particular rumor. Still, one can never have enough talent, especially in midfield, so if Pallotta finds a few million in between the couch cushions, maybe they add Tonali to their impressive stock of midfielders.
Whatever happens, just hang in there, we’re only two days away from actual Roma action.