While working on a decidedly different piece this morning (stay ‘tuned’) an interesting transfer tidbit floated across the wire (we communicate via telegraphs around here): PSG’s rumored attempt to snare Alisson and Patrik Schick from Roma last month. A simple Alta Vista search (I’m going to keep pumping that Parks and Rec reference in until someone notices) reveals PSGs stated interest in Alisson, who is the Messi of goalkeepers in case you hadn’t heard, but the Shick connection is something new.
But is it legit?
Football Italia passed along a report from Paris United, which, no offense to us, seems little more than a PSG version of our site; that is to say, a place for the dissection and discussion of PSG news, not the actual source. According to this rumor, PSG were among Schick’s suitors this past summer, seeing him as an ideal complement to Edinson Cavani, and the fact that he signed with Roma for a potential €42 million apparently hasn’t dulled their interest.
Unless my translation fails me, the folks at Paris United would have us believe PSG approached Monchi and Roma this winter about a Schick do over, with Monchi quoting his Parisian counterpart, Antero Henrique, a €60 million price. Not only that, Henrique also attempted to make inroads for Alisson per that report. Now, if you take the rumored €50 million price as Alisson’s starting point, we’re talking about a double deal worth at least €110 million. That’s some serious cheddar for a team with perpetual financial woes like Roma.
Listen, this rumor is mostly likely complete bullshit (or whatever the French equivalent may be) but the mere fact that this rumor carried enough weight to be picked up and passed along by Football Italia says, well not a lot, but something about Roma doesn’t it?
Well, yes and no.
We can look at this rumor one of two ways. First, PSG is probably just doing their due diligence by asking after Schick and Alisson. It’s a lot like online dating in that sense; there’s no harm in asking, you only risk being ghosted. The Parisians asking about our biggest names is, in a way, no different than Roma picking on Sassuolo, right?
There is, however, a more sinister and cynical side to this rumor. The simple fact that this rumor,—which focuses on Roma’s most expensive transfer ever and, perhaps, their most valuable player full stop—gained traction might say something about Roma’s standing in the game. Despite all their bluster about joining the elite (someday), Roma remains very much a selling club; an upper echelon selling club sure, but a selling club nonetheless.
Roma has been a transfer foil for mega clubs several times during Pallotta’s tenure (Marquinhos to PSG, Benatia to Bayern, Pjanic to Juve, Salah to Liverpool etc), and while in some ways that says more about the economic state of the global game than it does about the Giallrossi, Roma’s inability to resist those calls, for whatever reason, has created a situation in which their reputation precedes them, an environment in which clubs feel it’s entirely possible to steal two of Roma’s most valuable assets in one fell swoop.
Look no further than this past summer when the club parted ways with Salah and Rudiger in short order. Sure, it didn’t happen in one shot to the same club, but Roma showed no trepidation parting with two pillars of the club.
Roma may be in more dire financial straits than they’re letting on, so these sort of stories, and their concomitant believability, won’t be going away any time soon.