Roma just doesn't feel like Roma without an Argentinian influence. From Gabriel Batistuta to Walter Samuel to Nicolas Burdisso to Federico Fazio to Diego Perotti, Roma has seemingly always had quality Argentinian players in the squad—seemingly. For the first time in 13 years (the ‘08-'09 season), the Giallorossi went an entire Serie A season without fielding a single Argentine player. And dig a little deeper and you'll find that Brazilian goalkeeper Daniel Fuzato's lone appearance against CKSA Sofia in December made him one of only two South American to suit up for Roma this year (the other being Roger Ibañez); the 2020s are indeed a strange decade.
However, hope is not lost. If we used the transfer rumor as a guidepost, Roma may soon correct this Argentine absence, as the club has been linked with a host of Argentine players, including Paulo Dybala and Marcos Senesi. While those two new faces would be welcomed additions to the squad, Roma's first Argentinian addition of the summer transfer window may be a familiar face:
According to the Corriere dello Sport, Roma has renewed their interest in Leandro Paredes, who spent two seasons with the club before moving to Zenit St. Petersburg in the summer of 2017. Paredes, now 27-years-old, traded his Zenit shirt for PSG colors in a surprising €40 million move in the winter of 2019. While he may not have lived up to that lofty price point, Paredes was a useful piece for the Parisiens, making more than 100 appearances since arriving in the City of Light three years ago.
Being the budget-conscious club they are, PSG is looking to cut weight ahead of the new season... just kidding. Somewhere in the catacombs beneath the Parc des Princes, PSG's execs are hard at work printing their own currency, none of which is earmarked for Paredes, as the CdS reports that the Parisiens don't plan on renewing Paredes’ contract, which is currently set to expire on June 30, 2023. Accordingly, Roma has sprung into action, with GM Tiago Pinto rumored to have already reached out to Paredes' representatives.
As we discussed back in March, when this rumor first popped up, Roma could strike a bargain for Paredes, well below his €20 million Transfermarkt valuation. With his playing time dwindling in recent seasons, no contract renewal on the horizon, and with Paredes likely eligible for Italy's growth decree tax law, the Giallorossi could get lucky and land the 27-year-old defensive midfielder at a relatively reduced rate.
Paredes may not be the second coming of Daniele De Rossi, but he's a quality player just entering the prime of his career, so despite that enticing discount, Roma will likely face stiff competition from clubs all over Europe. As a result, the Corriere includes a few backup options for Roma, including Isco, Douglas Luiz, Xeka, and Ruben Neves, among others.
Lovely Leo, as we used to call him, isn't a bruising defensive midfielder cut from the De Rossi mold, but his ability to move the ball up the pitch could be a huge boon to José Mourinho's midfield.