Not one to be distracted by the World Cup, AS Roma Sporting Director Monchi put in some work today, pushing three separate but connected deals near their respective conclusions, each of which may come in the next 48 hours. Throw this on top of the four deals (pending Justin Kluivert) he’s already closed, and Monchi has done in several weeks what Walter Sabatini used to do in an entire summer, and very often not until August and usually only because he was out of cigarettes and bored at work.
Let’s start with the least consequential of the bunch, Bruno Peres’ impending return to Torino, the undoubted peak of his professional career thus far. After starring for the Toros for two seasons, scoring six goals and contributing seven assists along the way, Peres seemed primed for a breakthrough, prompting Roma to drop €13 million on the Brazilian.
Three seasons and two goals and two assists later, it’s safe to say this was not a wise purchase. Still, Peres wasn’t as bad as many made him out to be, but he damn sure didn’t fit the bill as the league’s best right back and never really seemed at ease with Roma. And after several months of transfer speculation, including potential landing spots in the Portuguese league, Peres is set to return from whence he came, making the switch to Torino in a deal that could eventually reach €7 million, or about half of what Roma originally paid for him
While that’s all well and good, the real sizzle to this story are the interconnected moves of Javier Pastore coming in and Radja Nainggolan moving out. We’ve talked a lot about Nainggolan this week, including Jonas’ excellent piece from earlier this afternoon, but suffice it to say, this sale will be every bit as controversial as we thought. While no official announcement has been made by either club, it is widely speculated that he is mere steps away from a €24 million move to Inter Milan, with Davide Santon (valued at...stifle your laughter...€9.5 million) and Nicolo Zaniolo (valued at €4.5 million).
Whether or not this transaction was directly related to Pastore’s own €24 million move to Roma we cannot say, but the timing is, as Michael Scott would say, nothing short of predominant. El Flaco’s deal, per Sky Sports among others, was also all but wrapped up today, with the now 29-year-old midfielder switching capitals on a €20 + €4 million deal.
Pastore and Nainggolan might be bumping into each other at the airport as we speak, because both men are expected to take their always enjoyable medical examinations as soon as tomorrow, though with the way these things work it’ll probably be a few days yet.
I can’t really add anything Jonas didn’t touch upon earlier today. Yeah, losing Nainggolan hurts, and losing him to Inter Milan really fucking hurts, but this move points to one thing: Monchi and EDF are forming the team in their image, and the same sentiment we have for so many of these players is like water on a duck’s back to Roma’s new leadership. So wringing our hands and insulting Monchi’s intelligence is just a tired trope I can’t indulge in anymore—they’ve worn me down.
I wish I could say that this was an untenable situation in which Monchi didn’t have the luxury of time and multiple interested parties, but that’s simply not the case: Roma were under no financial pressure to sell Nainggolan whatsoever, and thus have no one to blame but themselves if this goes south.
However, as we’ve been saying, Monchi and EDF are going all in on their vision for Roma, killing all of our darlings in the process—Radja Nainggolan wasn’t the first victim of this new paradigm, nor will he be the last.