No one really knows what's going on between Roma coach Paulo Fonseca and now former captain Edin Dzeko. There is plenty of conjecture, sure, but unless you've been in a room with the two men, all you can really do is speculate. Rumor has it that the debacle against Spezia in the Coppa Italia—in which Fonseca illegally made six subs, resulting in the dismissal of team manager Gianluca Gomber—rekindled a feud that may have been lying dormant since Roma's defeat in the Europa League Round of 16 last August against Sevilla.
And when Dzeko was left in the stands for Roma's league match against Spezia over the weekend (he was dealing with a bruise/contusion-like injury, per reports), the rumor smoke turned into a full-blown conflagration, with stories of an unrepairable rift between Roma's captain and coach hitting the airwaves and making the rounds throughout the Romaverse.
Things were so dire that we tried to play the role of peacemaker, offering four solutions for Roma's Fonseca vs. Dzeko feud. In the days since we published that, Dzeko, due to his injuries, has continued to train on his own, though he was photographed at training speaking with Fonseca, perhaps suggesting that this feud isn't as bitter as it may seem.
While new GM Tiago Pinto is reportedly trying to bridge this divide, the rumor mill is running rampant, connecting Dzeko to Real Madrid, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Juventus, West Ham, Southampton, and even a return to Manchester City.
That's all well and good, but with less than a week remaining in the transfer window, Pinto either needs to become the world's best therapist or the most efficient move and shaker football has ever seen.
Of course, if Roma does move on from Dzeko, they will need a new striker to complement Borja Mayoral. And according to the Corriere dello Sport, Roma are in a French mood:
Earlier today, the CdS speculated that Roma could look to Chelsea's Olivier Giroud to take Dzeko's spot. Giroud, 34-years-old, has been with Chelsea since the 2017-2018 season, scoring 37 goals in 106 appearances in all competitions. While that's a far cry from his time with Montpellier and Arsenal when he scored double-digit league goals in eight straight seasons, it's not a terrible return and he's averaging 0.62 goals per 90 minutes this season.
Cost is definitely a factor for Roma, who have transfers for Stephan El Shaarawy and Bryan Reynolds pending at the moment, but Giroud, who is only contracted with Chelsea through the end of this season, could be had on a six-month loan per these reports.
Given the limited time Pinto has to either solve this feud or find Dzeko a new home while also lining up a replacement, Roma likely won't be spoiled for choice. Giroud is similar enough to Dzeko, in terms of size and playing style (though he's not quite as gifted a playmaker), to make this an easy transition.
Stay tuned. This figures to be a busy and intriguing week.