At this point, I'm not sure what else we can say about Roma's pursuit of Gonzalo Higuain. We've been covering this story, such as it is, for nearly two months now and have attacked it from nearly every angle. At first, when it seemed like a loan with an option to buy, it was perfectly acceptable, then it somehow morphed into a Nicolo Zaniolo + cash for Higuain deal, which made most of us apoplectic, and then it sort of fell by the wayside with rumors that Paulo Fonseca was fine with keeping Edin Dzeko, only to spring up late last week with word that Higuain's brother-agent was going to meet with Roma's reps.
While we don't know if the meeting has actually occurred yet, the Corriere dello Sport shed some light on what they might be talking about.
According to the CdS, Roma are not only willing to pay Juventus €36 million for a man they have no stated use for, but will then offer Higuain a new four-year deal that pays the 31-year-old, who has seen his scoring decline in each of the past four seasons, a whopping €5 million per season. Now, Higuain’s current deal has €15 million in net wages remaining on it, so tempting him with €20 million might just be a way to spread out the remainder of his current deal while kicking in an addition €5 million to tempt him, but that's not the real issue.
Roma can abide by swings and misses on kids like Rick Karsdorp, but sinking €56 million into an aging striker with declining results, and one you had to spend two months convincing, is the sort of deal that binds Roma's hands later down the road. You have Patrik Schick teetering on the brink, there's Zan Celar busting up through the ranks, and you still have the option of keeping Dzeko, who, even in a down year, was better than Higuain in 2018-2019.
So what's the trade off? How can Roma justify this expenditure? Does Higuain automatically make them title contenders? Would he even vault them back into the top four? Would he have to score 25+ goals to make this worthwhile?
If Roma can somehow land Higuain on a one-year loan, then ignore all those questions; that's a risk worth taking, but nothing about Higuain's performance over the past 24 months suggests Roma would come out ahead on a four year, €56 million investment.
This is a baffling move all the way around.