As the marquee event on the international footballing calendar this summer, the European Championships have necessarily pushed every other story to the back pages. However, with Euro 2020 progressing through the Round of 16 into this weekend's quarterfinals, there seems to be more space on the front page for everyone's favorite summer pursuit: transfer rumors.
While the rumor mill is operating at a slightly slower pace, the scope of players connected to Roma has narrowed significantly as the club prepares for life under José Mourinho. Despite Dan Friedkin's preference for working in silence, the Italian press has narrowed their Roma transfer coverage to three key figures: Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka, Wolverhampton keeper Rui Patricio, and the most recent addition to the rumor rolls, Eintracht Frankfurt playmaker Filip Kostic.
So, before the footballing world turns its attention back to Euro 2020 this weekend, let's get you caught on up the latest Roma rumors.
Roma Offer €15 Million for Xhaka
After knocking the defending world champions (France) from Euro 2020, Swiss midfielder Granit Xhaka gave a cheeky response when asked if he wanted to conduct his post-match interview in Italian. “Italian? Not yet” replied Xhaka, perhaps suggesting that his move to Roma is more imminent than we realize. Xhaka further fanned the flames when he spoke about Roma directly:
It’s always interesting to learn a new language. I learned English, why not Italian? Let’s see what happens, everyone know what Roma represents.
Today, I’m an Arsenal player, then I’ll decide my future after the Euros
To that end, Sky Sports reports that Roma has officially offered €15 million for the 28-year-old midfielder. While Arsenal is believed to want nearly twice that amount, rumor holds that Xhaka was informed he could leave the London-based club if an offer of at least €15 million came through—from any club.
However, with Xhaka's commanding presence in the Swiss midfield on full display this month, Roma may soon face competition from Juventus, according to Calciomercato.it. If, however, you believe that Mourinho's presence has been driving this story all along, then Roma should remain firmly in the driver's seat here, despite Xhaka's summer heroics likely increasing his post-Arsenal options.
Rui Patricio Nearly Done
Roma's presumed new goalkeeper, 33-year-old Rui Patricio, appears to be inching his way towards Trigoria. According to both the Gazzetta dello Sport and the Corriere dello Sport, Roma is loathed to meet Wolves' €12 million asking price for Patricio and is prepared to offer a base fee in the neighborhood of €6 to €7 million with an additional two to three million in bonuses. The CdS also believes Roma will sign Patricio to a two-year deal with an option for a third—a not so insignificant point considering his age and declining statistical performances over the past two seasons.
Kostic to Cost Between €20 and €25 Million
Eintracht Frankfurt playmaker Filip Kostic, the latest addition to Roma's rumored shopping cart, won't come cheap according to Calciomercato.it. Kostic is getting on in years (relatively) but there's no debating his impact. With 14 goals and 35 assists over the past three seasons, Kostic has been one of the most dynamic players in Germany over that span, so if Roma wants to win this bidding war, they'll have to step up to the plate with a twenty to twenty-five million offer.
Winger may not be an immediate need for Roma, but it's hard to say no to that kind of talent and production.
Could Roma Swap Dzeko for Frabotta?
Roma and Juve may soon pull off a swap on the female side of the aisle, reportedly sending Agnese Bonfantini north in exchange for Benedetta Glionna, but the two bitter rivals may attempt another swap if the Corriere dello Sport is correct. Two years after concocting a balance sheet swap of Leonardo Spinazzola for Luca Pellegrini, Roma and Juventus are reportedly discussing another trade that would see Edin Dzeko move north with 22-year-old defender Gianluca Frabotta heading to the capital.
There is some debate about the precise nature of this deal—Dzeko may be bought out, loaned, or sold for a minimal fee—but regardless of the formula, this move makes plenty of sense for both parties. Juventus have long admired Dzeko while Roma has long sought to remove his salary from the books, so this could be the exceedingly rare win-win proposition.
Mourinho's Staff Taking Shape
Lastly, the Gazzetta dello Sport chimes in with some updates on The Special One's coaching staff. According to the Gazzetta, Mourinho is bringing Stefano Rapetti (head athletic trainer), Michele Salzarulo (head of match analytics), Giovanni Cera (data analyst and head of technology), Joao Sacramento (assistant coach), Carlos Lalin (head of re-athletics) and Nuno Santos (goalkeeper coach) with him to Roma.
With Euro 2020 taking a two-day break before commencing the Quarterfinals, expect some actual progress on these stories. We'll pass along updates as they become available.