While Roma GM Tiago Pinto has done an admirable job keeping the club's transfer ambitions under wraps, there was no secrecy when it came to the Giallorossi's quest to replace Pau Lopez in goal. The Spanish keeper did an admirable job in 2021, but once Paulo Fonseca was replaced by José Mourinho, his future in the capital was far from assured. And while Roma was linked to several other net-minders, it didn't take long for the rumor cycle to coalesce around Wolverhampton keeper Rui Patricio.
And moments ago, the club made official what's been suspected for weeks: They've signed the 33-year-old Portuguese keeper on a permanent deal through June 2024. According to the official announcement, the terms of the deal are as follows:
Patricio, 33, is the Giallorossi’s first signing of the summer – arriving from Premier League side Wolverhamption Wanderers on a permanent deal.
He joins for an initial fee of €11.5 million. The agreement also includes a number of performance-related clauses, based on the achievement of set targets on behalf of both the club and the player.
Patricio, meanwhile, has signed a three-year contract with the club that runs until 30 June 2024.
On his new keeper, Pinto was quick to praise the Portuguese international
Rui Patricio brings with him a huge amount of success with the Portuguese national team and a number of successful seasons in the Premier League in which he only underlined his quality: as we welcome him to the club we are certain that our group of players will benefit from the arrival of a goalkeeper with such an array of international experience to call upon
After signing his deal, Patricio spoke about his decision to sign with Roma:
Roma is a big club and a new challenge and I’m excited to try and help the club achieve its targets...In José Mourinho we are talking about one of the greatest coaches in the world and I am excited to start working with him and doing everything I can to help the team.
We'll run through the pros and cons of Patricio in the coming days, but suffice it to say, this deal isn't without its risks. Signing a 33-year-old keeper through his age 36 season, while also paying him over €2 million per season, seems to fly in the face of the club's new raison d’être of getting younger on the pitch and leaner on the pocketbook.
Still, there has to be something Mourinho sees in his countryman, so let's hope his intuition proves correct. Roma can ill afford another misstep in goal.