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Reports: Roma Holding Firm on Dzeko Deal and Barella Hope

Sources claim Roma have turned down every Inter offer for Dzeko so far, while both clubs still court Nicolò Barella.

Italy v Bosnia and Herzegovina - UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifier Photo by Filippo Alfero/Getty Images

Roma and Inter Milan look no nearer to having struck a deal on Edin Dzeko. The widespread story around the web was one of Roma getting the door shut on her face so many times that even Inter Milan youth player Edoardo Vergani was reported to have turned Roma down.

However, contrary to those reports, ForzaRoma stuck their neck on the line with their own club sources for a different take: Roma were the ones to turn down the Vergani part-exchange offer and are said to be holding firm on their 20 million euro evaluation of Dzeko.

ForzaRoma claims the Giallorossi can be convinced the accept a cash-plus-player exchange if it means Inter giving up the crown jewel of their youth in Sebastiano Esposito. Alternatively, Gianluca Petrachi is said to be open to re-signing Danilo D’Ambrosio for the second time in Petrachi’s career.

FC Internazionale U17 v AS Roma U17 - U17 League Final Photo by Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images

The fact ForzaRoma stand alone (though RomaPress, Calciomercato and Corriere dello Sport have since joined in on this story overnight) in their take shows where the club’s reputation has gone under Pallotta’s leadership. You may say we’re talking yet more shots at the ownership, but I’m personally more invested in Petrachi getting a fair shake at the job and not becoming the punching bag of Pallotta’s regime, like Sabatini and Monchi before him.

Football’s papers are eager to write Roma as a pushover in transfer negotiations, ready to bend over the barrel come June 30th of every year. But will Petrachi bend here?

So far, Roma’s new DS has nabbed Amadou Diawara (though it isn’t official until we see scarves at the airport - and that may take as long as Monday 1st July) for new coach Paulo Fonseca. That’s a very promising start to building a proper footballing side this coming season, even if the average age of Roma’s squad keeps getting younger. Getting a hold of Sebatiano Esposito would bring down average age further, but landing the Inter youth remains a long shot.

Esposito was already making Zaniolo-headlines a thing of the past for the Beneamata; the 16-year-old forward starred at Primavera level to carry Inter’s Primavera all the way to the final, while Esposito buried Roma with a hat-trick in Inter’s U-17 Scudetto final triumph, and the teenager found the time to play for Inter’s senior team in the 2018/19 Europa League to boot.

Pretty much anything that has to do with Inter Milan’s long-term future is laying at the feet of this teenager. Unless Inter want to go for the alternative of ponying straight-up cash, it’s more probable that Petrachi’s favourite full-back gets signed instead.

SSC Napoli v FC Internazionale - Serie A Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images

Ever since Davide Santon left to go find himself further south, Danilo D’Ambrosio has been targeted by Serie A teams everywhere as Inter’s weak link in their backline. The 30-year-old is a long way away from the days Petrachi once plucked D’Ambrosio in Lega Pro and carried him all the way up to Serie A with Torino. But that may not stop Roma from believing in yet another rejuvenation project.

Bringing on board a veteran Italian full-back with the ability to play on both flanks? We’ve been here before. Petrachi could wind up going in two very different directions on this Edin Dzeko transfer by the time it’s said and done. Though it won’t be lost on Roma’s DS that if he can drive this brinksmanship with Inter over the line for Dzeko, then he may just force the Milan club to give up their plans to sign Nicolò Barella.

AS Roma v Cagliari - Serie A Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images

Corriere dello Sport’s Roberto Maida reports that Roma have not given up on signing Cagliari’s star midfielder for next season. The fight to sign Barella may just be the real driving force behind this stalemate over Edin Dzeko.