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Reports: Roma and Everton Edge Closer to Bernard for Olsen Swap Deal

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Tiago Pinto’s first act as Roma director could be to re-unite Paulo Fonseca with an old disciple.

Everton v West Ham United - Premier League Photo by Emma Simpson/Everton FC via Getty Images

The dominoes keep falling into place for a swap deal between Roma and Everton that will see Brazilian forward Bernard re-unite with coach Paulo Fonseca in the Eternal City. Multiple reports around the web, including ForzaRoma, claim that Everton coach Carlo Ancelotti has given the green light for talks in a transfer swap deal, one where the stars looked to have lined up spectacularly for both sets of clubs and players.

On the one hand, you have a former Roma legend on the Everton bench, needing to secure a goalkeeper at Goodison Park. It turns out Roma have a few too many middle-of-the-road keepers who struggle for confidence at the Stadio Olimpico, but perform well enough elsewhere. On the other hand, you have a former Shakhtar Donetsk coach sitting on the Roma bench, looking for a player who can fit into his attacking unit and increase the fluency of Roma’s final third play to something that could be truly league-leading football in the near future.

And it turns out Everton have the former Shakhtar maestro Bernard in their midst, just waiting for a new lease of life away from Merseyside. Imagine that! What really set the reports rolling on this swap deal with Carlo Ancelotti openly declaring he wants Everton to do everything possible to sign goalkeeper Robin Olsen permanently to the Toffees.

Robin Olsen: Not Bad For a Number Two Keeper

Everton Training Session Photo by Tony McArdle/Everton FC via Getty Images

“It’s a pleasure to have him here,” Ancelotti declared earlier this week, “he’s an experienced keeper, so I believe we’ll talk with him and his agent to find a solution and get him to stay here permanently. In the games where he’s been selected he’s done well, he’s been in his element, calm and free. I believe he can give a good hand to Pickford.”

While Olsen hasn’t managed to convince Everton to give him the starting position outright, the Swedish keeper has done enough to convince the club to secure his signature for the long-term. Roma reportedly rates Olsen at €6.5 million and are eager to do a straight swap with Bernard, but of course, Everton won’t go along with that reasoning blindly. By the end of these transfer talks, we could see Roma add some cash on top of Olsen’s transfer to secure Bernard in the other direction, with Everton reportedly valuing Bernard—a player they signed on a free transfer a couple of years ago—at €8 million.

Bernard: A Wage-Cut Reunion

Carlo Ancelotti Takes His First Everton Training Session Photo by Tony McArdle/Everton FC via Getty Images

Multiple sites report that Bernard is very keen on a reunion with Paulo Fonseca, so much so that reports—including that from Everton portal site Prince Ruperts’ Tower—report that Bernard has already agreed to a wage cut of nearly a million euros per season, in order to fit in with Roma’s current wage structure.

We’ll wait to see if the new Growth Decree Italian tax laws still survive into 2021 for foreign signings, but if all the lights line up correctly on this deal, it’s a very appetizing deal for Roma—both on a footballing and financial level—when it’s all said and done. It’s unclear whether Bernard’s signing would rule out Stephan El Shaarawy returning to the Italian capital this season, or if signing the Brazilian forward would mean that Roma would look to move on from out-of-form Carles Perez, and still move to secure SES to the revamped giallorosso frontline.