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Free Agent Fernandes Flying to Fiumicino?

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Fact or Fiction? It’s fuzzy.

Sporting Lisbon v Viktoria Plzen - UEFA Europa League Round of 16: First Leg Photo by Octavio Passos/Getty Images

Ever since Miralem Pjanić’s controversial transfer to Juventus, Roma has been lacking an attacking midfielder who can rack up the assists, one who can provide the moments of brilliance necessary to unite forwards to midfielders. The Giallorossi have certainly been able to perform without such a playmaker, with Radja Nainggolan (among others) slotting into an attacking position with great success; however, your typical Roma fan still wishes for a player that could slot into Pjanić’s old role, who could bring back a little bit of the artistry that has been replaced by the brute force of a De Rossi - Strootman - Nainggolan midfield. Ante Ćorić or Gerson may one day fill that hole, and Lorenzo Pellegrini may provide more playmaking next season, but the need for a playmaker has persisted nevertheless.

Travel from Italy to Portugal for a second. Where Roma has completed a successful season, shocking many with a deep Champions League run and a respectable third place finish in Serie A, Sporting Clube de Portugal is going down the tubes at an alarming rate. The former home of Cristiano Ronaldo, William Carvalho, and Luis Figo is quickly becoming a ghost town, with player after player rescinding their contract to escape from an incredibly hostile environment. How hostile, you might ask? Well, it’s bad enough that when supposed fans of the club stormed a training practice, assaulting players and staff, many players believed that the president of Sporting, Bruno de Carvalho, had actually instigated the attacks. Although the president has denied these rumors, the fact that the idea is even floated shows how toxic the environment is in Lisbon, and makes it clear that the players rescinding their contracts are in the right.

One of the players who has rescinded his contract is Bruno Fernandes, the 23-year-old midfielder and former Sampdoria and Udinese man. Despite his relatively young age, Fernandes has found great success both in Italy and at Sporting; his positioning, playmaking, and tactical intelligence helped him score 20 goals and assist 16 last season, while his time at Sampdoria saw him become a focal point of their offense.

Normally, Bruno Fernandes wouldn’t be the type of player Monchi could go after; his contract with Sporting had a €100 million release clause, meaning he would head to the Premier League, PSG, or Real Madrid, if anywhere. Yet rumors are circling that Roma will seize this rare opportunity to sign Fernandes on a free transfer. Fernandes’ agent partially confirmed these rumors, saying “Roma are following him... We will know more in the next three to four days.” He certainly wouldn’t come cheap, but young players of Fernandes’ quality with Serie A experience don’t exactly come a dime a dozen.

Considering that Roma has already purchased Bryan Cristante and Ante Ćorić this summer, the obvious question any Roma fan must ask now is “Who will he replace?” Unfortunately, the most obvious answer to this is Radja Nainggolan, who has been heavily linked both to Inter Milan and Chinese clubs. Nainggolan has been a key part of this side since his winter transfer from Cagliari, and replacing him will be difficult, but even then, one could argue that Bruno Fernandes might be the best possible replacement. He’s certainly not Nainggolan 2.0, but he would add an exciting dimension to an already high-class midfield.

Whatever comes of this potential transfer, it’s clear that Monchi’s lightning-paced transfer window isn’t slowing down just yet.

Poll

Bruno Fernandes to Roma - Yes or No?

This poll is closed

  • 80%
    Yes - players like Fernandes are rare, and he could bring Roma to the next level.
    (624 votes)
  • 19%
    No - we’re full up at midfielder, and I want to keep Nainggolan.
    (152 votes)
776 votes total Vote Now