We're still 12 days out from Roma’s next match, and with all our 2018 look back pieces firmly in the rear view, I'll give you two guesses as to what's coming next. Go ahead, I'll wait...transfer rumors! While it doesn't churn with quite the same ferocity as the summer, the January transfer window still sees its fair share of action, as evidenced by the €64 million signing of Christian Pulisic today by Chelsea. While Roma won't approach those waters, they're nevertheless in the deep end of the rumor mill.
During our round table discussion earlier today, I asked the CdT crew which area(s) Roma should address during this transfer window, and while Monchi claims that Roma won't make any major moves this winter, to a man we all agreed that the defense needs some remediation.
So, then, it was only natural that Roma was connected in some defensive rumors, with Juventus reportedly seeing Kostas Manolas as their Plan B to Matthijs de Ligt. Even by Roma standards, that one takes the cake; I simply can't see them reinforcing Juventus during the middle of season, that's really more of a summer time move anyway.
Manolas was not alone in the Roma rumor mill today, though. Joining Manolas in the rumor rags of potential ex-Roma players was the trio of Diego Perotti, Rick Karsdorp and Gregoire Defrel, who remains Roma property in case you'd forgotten.
For Diego, the matter has gotten a bit murkier since his return. Earlier in the season, with Perotti sidelined, it seemed like Roma would forge on with Stephan El Shaarawy, Cengiz Ünder and Justin Kluivert as their wing rotation; they were each younger and more explosive than Perotti and seemed likely to relegate Argentine to bench duty.
However, since returning to action, albeit in a limited capacity, Perotti has proven his worth, turning in two solid appearances against Juventus and Sassuolo, respectively. He still can't match the athleticism of that trio, but Perotti's intuition and play-making abilities put him a cut above the rest, a trait that hasn't gone lost on Torino and Boca Juniors, each of whom are reportedly keen on Perotti this winter.
Perotti leaving the capital isn't as guaranteed as it once seemed, and while he reportedly doesn't yet want to return to Boca, we may have to look over our shoulders at Torino, who could offer a larger role for the 30-year-old attacker.
There may be no such option when it comes to the immediate future of Rick Karsdorp, however. As we discussed last week, Karsdorp's former club, Feyenoord, from whom Roma purchased the 23-year-old for €14 million last summer, are interested in providing shelter for Karsdorp.
The sticking point, however, seems to be the length of that stay. The rumors hold that Roma simply want Karsdorp to spend the remainder of the season back home, proving he's healthy and hopefully receiving a fresh injection of confidence in the process, while Feyenoord are looking for a purchase option of some sort. Presumably Roma are balking at that specific point because, and I'm just spitballing here, there is no way in hell anyone would pay that much for a kid with his medical record.
Given his utter lack of minutes with Roma, we still really nave no idea what this kid can actually do, which, in turn, makes it hard to judge exactly how much Roma wants him. If they could break even, would they simply cut bait or is there something worth reeling in here?
We may never know, but when it comes to Gregoire Defrel, Roma are jumping ship faster than Theon Greyjoy. With his first season in Rome an utter disaster, Roma acted quickly to find a new home for him this summer, sending him on loan to Sampdoria, and here we are 20 appearances and seven goals later and Defrel has actually created a market for himself, with several Premiership clubs interested in taking him on loan for the spring. While this will help Roma in the short run, Defrel's career seems destined to follow the Seydou Doumbia path, remaining on Roma's books until someone in China takes the bait.
If these rumors are any indication, Roma's winter transfer window may be more concerned with who leaves rather than who arrives. Stay tuned, this won't be the last update.