The actual parameters of the summer transfer window are a bit like minor traffic laws—they only matter when someone is watching. And the rolling stop of the international football market is the late May-but-not-yet-official-signing of a player, which is usually signalled by the medical examination, which is, in turn, signalled by the always awkward airport-scarf photo. We see it with nearly every signing, but yet the players always look like recently released hostages, albeit wearing $400 jeans with precisely located tears in them.
All of this is, of course, a preamble to what might prove to be Roma’s first summer signing, 21-year-old Croatian midfielder Ante Coric:
Coric, it seems, recently landed in Rome to take his medical examination head of a reported €8 million move from Dinamo Zagreb, and will reportedly sign a five-year deal with Roma, one that will pay him roughly €1 million per year.
We’ve covered Coric intermittently over the past few months, and each time we’ve references his “New Luka Modric” tagline, which is probably born more out of his shared citizenship with the Real Madrid playmaker than actual talent. Still, Coric is one of those kids who has seemingly been connected to every large club in the world through his late teens and early twenties, but thanks to some less than overwhelming performances Roma was able to land him for only €8 million—that’s Juan Jesus and Dodo territory.
However, that paltry fee may actually work in his favor for no other reason than it’ll grant him a bit of breathing room. Had Roma actually pipped Manchester City and Arsenal (among others) for his services a year or two ago, Roma may have had to fork over two or three times that amount.
As it stands now, Coric should have the time and opportunity to develop alongside Roma’s other young midfielders, namely Lorenzo Pellegrini, adapting to life abroad in the process. As the first salvo in Monchi’s second summer, this speculative play could pay huge dividends if Coric is able accelerate his developmental curve in Trigoria. If not, it’s only an €8 million loss, which Roma can certainly weather.
We’ll pass along more information as it becomes available, but this signing points towards one thing: a shakeup in Eusebio Di Franceso’s midfield.