Earlier this morning we talked about a host of exiting Roma players, including Bruno Peres and Mirko Antonucci, but shortly after we published that piece, fragments of a bombshell (not the entire ordnance itself) started to fall. According to multiple sources, Roma and Liverpool are exceedingly close to reaching a deal for Alisson Becker.
We’ve been reading and talking about this proposed move for months, but now that Gianluca Di Marzio has chimed in, things are about to get serious:
According to Di Marzio, Liverpool has reportedly opened negotiations with a €70 million offer, which, according to Il Messaggero, is a €60 million plus €10 million in bonuses deal. While that’s an astonishing figure, Roma are reportedly holding firm at their €75 million valuation, full stop. Di Marzio doesn’t really indicate if that final five million will be a sticking point, but he reports that Alisson has actually spoken to Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, which certainly seems favorable for the Reds.
While Di Marzio’s word is not gospel, the sheer spread of these stories, which are expanding by the minute, does lend credence to his report. To wit, our colleagues at the Liverpool Offside have included multiple English sources in their coverage of this transfer rumor.
We’ll save our final judgement until this move becomes a reality, but suffice it to say, it’s going to be tough to swallow. When Roma sold Mohamed Salah, it was a bit easier to take because they had to make sacrifice, but where’s the FFP influence here?
It’s widely believed that Alisson’s Liverpool deal, or wherever he may end up, will pay €5 million per season after tax, a figure that’s not entirely out of reach for Roma, particularly not for a player of his quality.
So, let’s run this back for a second: Roma are under no regulatory obligation to sell Alisson, as was the case with Salah, there’s no tactical incongruities, as was the case with Radja Nainggolan, so we’re only left to assume one thing: Alisson really wants out. (Granted, you can argue that the offers would have come regardless of Alisson’s desires, but as we saw last year with Kostas Manolas and Edin Dzeko, the player’s willingness to move ultimately reigns supreme)
And as much as we’d love Roma to tow the hardline and make Alisson live up to his deal, that’s just not realistic, nor is it good business in the long run. Throughout this entire fiasco I told myself, “Money aside, if he goes to Real Madrid, I can take it. They’re the best club in the world”, but this? This is bullshit.
I’m trying to dial back the Kevin Durant comparisons (it’s not a perfect analogy for many reasons), and while “orchestrate” may be a too strong a word, he’s manipulated the circumstances to sort out a move to the very club that knocked Roma out of the Champions League last season, which is unsettling, to say the least.
Given all that, and considering that they really have no impetus to sell, if Roma doesn’t get every bit of that €75 million then they’ve failed miserably.
#CFC in process of selling Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois to #RealMadrid for total of €160m - would use those funds to challenge #LFC for #ASRoma gk Alisson https://t.co/PawBiT0v0a pic.twitter.com/xsO89SbKFl— footballitalia (@footballitalia) July 17, 2018
While Liverpool may have expediency on their side, Chelsea won’t be deterred in their pursuit of Alisson, as they stand to make a huge windfall from a double sale of Thibaut Courtois and Eden Hazard to Real Madrid.
There’s no telling how quickly this will be settled, but the more Monchi can play these two off each other, the better.