With the leaves changing colors and grocery stores filled to the brim with Halloween candy and the triumphant return of Count Chocula, autumn is in full swing. And while it may feel like the holiday season is just around the corner, we're barely a month into fall, meaning the winter transfer season is still nearly three months away. Despite that distance, Roma's winter transfer plans are starting to come into focus: a defensive midfielder to lighten the load on Bryan Cristante and Jordan Veretout and a right-back to complement and possibly compete with Rick Karsdorp.
Nothing is close to official yet, but if you read the tea leaves, Roma is seemingly growing closer to signing Borussia Monchengladbach's Denis Zakaria this winter, especially with the news that Zakaria declined the latest contract offer from Monchengladbach. Whether he arrives in January for a nominal fee or as a free agent in the summer, Zakaria's arrival in Roma feels inevitable—we hope.
With that box seemingly ticked, Roma is reportedly shifting their attention to right-back, where Ajax's Noussair Mazraoui has become Tiago Pinto's latest object of affection. Mazraoui, a 24-year-old Morrocan international, has plyed his trade with Ajax since 2017 and appears in the midst of a breakout campaign, scoring four goals and chipping in two assists in eight league appearances.
According to Il Romanista, Roma is becoming increasingly enamored with Mazraoui, who, like Zakaria, is set to become a free agent after June 30th. Il Romanista speculates that Mazraoui could be acquired for some €5 to €8 million, which is 10 million less than his current Transfermarkt valuation but speaks to the value of impending free agents.
Whether Roma pounce in January or wait until June, they're sure to face stiff competition from the usual suspects: Juventus, Barcelona, Arsenal and any other club in search of a young, up-and-coming full-back.