Following their 12:30 CET/6:30 EST kick-off against Inter Milan over the weekend and tomorrow's rare Friday fixture (for a derby, no less!), the Serie A schedule makers sure are putting the screws to AS Roma. But, whether it’s played on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, in front of fans, in an empty stadium, or on some sort of floating barge in the Mediterranean, the Derby della Capitale always produces 90 minutes of furious football. And tomorrow afternoon's tilt should be no exception.
But, before we fret about lineups, tactics and goals, let's dip our toes into the transfer waters.
First up, the megawatt signing heading to the Stadio Tre Fontane.
Elena Linari Completes Medical
It hasn't really settled in yet, but Roma are about to sign one of the best center-backs in the world in the form of 26-year-old Firenze-native Elena Linari, who has successfully terminated her contract with Bordeaux, freeing her to sign with Roma. While she hasn't been officially announced yet, Linari landed in Rome yesterday to complete her medical examination and could be presented as soon as tomorrow, though she will likely be a longshot to suit up for the Giallorosse's weekend match against Napoli.
It's hard to understate the significance of this addition; Linari is a proven winner and instantly becomes the club's most accomplished player and joins fellow international veterans Elisa Bartoli, Manuela Giugliano, and Andressa Alves.
Here's another shocker: Bruno Peres is drawing transfer interest from abroad! Travel back 365 days and remember where Peres was—just returning to Rome from the Brazilian Serie B—and maybe you'll begin to appreciate how far he's come. After forcing his way back into the rotation and earning Paulo Fonseca's trust last summer, Peres has experienced a career rebirth. So much so that he’s now drawing interest from abroad. With his contract expiring in June, Roma has a decision to make: cash in now or let him walk after June 30th.
Peres has fallen down the pecking order somewhat but has still logged over 1,000 minutes in all competitions. If Roma can land a backup right-back, perhaps they part with Peres, but for now, this rumor stands merely as a testament to just how far he's come.
In news that won't likely shock anyone, Shanghai Shenhua are reportedly refuting claims that Stephan El Shaarawy can escape his contract due to an anti-adjustment clause. While they haven’t released a statement, the presumption is (somewhat counterintuitively) that El Shaarawy hasn't played enough to trigger the anti-adjustment clause. Kind of like when your parents drop you off at camp despite your protests, insisting that you just have to give it time and you'll love it.
Nevertheless, El Shaarawy's brother-agent (bro-gent) Manuel remains engaged in negotiations with Shanghai to find some way to bring his brother back to Roma.
Roma Plan to Sign Otavio in June
This is from yesterday, but Tuttomercatoweb reports that Roma will attempt to sign impending free-agent and Porto midfielder Otavio on a free transfer in June. Otavio, a 25-year-old attacking midfielder, has two goals and four assists in 10 league appearances so far this season.
New Deals for Ibañez, Villar & Karsdorp?
We'll end this with a bit of good news, as Il Romanista reports that the club is looking to lock down Roger Ibañez, Gonzalo Villar, and perhaps most surprising of all, Rick Karsdorp with new deals. No disrespect to Villar or Karsdorp, but Ibañez's new deal is probably the most pressing of the three, particularly now that Riccardo Calafiori makes nearly the same salary as Ibañez, who is clearly the superior and more proven talent at this point in their respective careers. Ibañez's agent will arrive in the capital next week to begin negotiations with TIago Pinto, while Villar and Karsdorp's representatives will likely follow suit very soon.
That's it for now, look for our derby preview later this afternoon!