With no midweek matchups on the docket, Wednesday was all about what goes on off the pitch. This particular hump day saw the official and imminent signings of several impressive prospects, and the official announcement of Roma's next opponent in the Coppa Italia, a two-legged clash with Napoli. However, with little more than a day left before the transfer deadline, Wednesday was all about wheelin' and dealin'
Sanabria to Sassuolo
Antonio Sanabria, who is apparently known as 'Tonny', is a Roma player at long last. Well, sort of, in a somewhat convoluted way.
Barcelona and Sassuolo have agreed a transfer for Tonny Sanabria to the Serie A club in an operation that is close to €12m. Of this sum, €4.5m are guaranteed, while the rest are tied to the player’s performances and his future market value. The contacts for Sanabria’s transfer began with Roma, then the Italian club put Barcelona and Sassuolo in contact to finally conclude the operation.
In this scenario, if Barcelona B is an illicit narcotics dealer, and Roma the junkie, then Sassuolo is the drug mule, the intermediary through which the goods are concealed and processed. €12m worth of goods, to be exact.
When you consider Roma's successes, or lack thereof, with Barcelona B products and Paraguayans, this move looks pretty risky. See Krkic, Bojan. Enrique, Luis or, Piris, Ivan.
All kidding aside, this could prove to be a steal, but at 17-years-old, please be patient with Tonny, it could take several years before that windfall occurs.
Chievo Sign Parades From Boca
Leandro Paredes, the other prospect pursed upon Roma's lips for the past four weeks, is officially an Ex-Boca player, headed to Chievo (see the drug mule reference above) with his eventual destination being, of course, Roma. There is a small wrinkle in this deal, however. It is Chievo, not Roma, who technically hold the option to renew the loan at the end of the season, meaning Paredes might be another year from Roma still.
Now, without knowing all the finer points of the deal, there is ample room for speculation. Is it possible, given Roma's glut of young midfielders, that Sabatini had this in mind all along, to let Paredes adapt to life in Europe through the tail end of this season, establish a firm footing next season with Chievo, and arrive in Roma raring to go in the fall of 2015.
On the flipside of that argument is this; knowing full well how talented this kid is, might there be some sort of back channel, cash laden guarantee that Chievo will cede their renewal at season's end, leaving Paredes to truly cut his teeth in Trigoria?
Roma Grab Golubovic
In his continued attempt to mine the Balkans for all they're worth, Walter Sabatini has grabbed 20-year-old Serbian right back, Petar Golubovic. Fresh off a U-19 European Championship in 2013, Golubovic brings a still developing, nearly 6 foot tall frame to Sabatini's supply of young talent. You have to like this move for a number of reasons, but chief among them is Roma's continued ascendence in the Balkan market, which is ripe with talent.
Roma Signs Vestenicky & Berisha
Continuing the youth theme, Sabatini branched out of his usual Argentinian comfort zone and landed Slovak forward Tomas Vestenicky and Swedish striker Valmir Berisha. Investing heavily in youth, particularly at the pace with which Roma has recently, can sometimes be a zero-sum game. Out of the dozens of names we've discussed in these spaces in the past few years, maybe three of four become regulars, and of those, perhaps one becomes a star in the truest sense. The combination of cash and potential is always fraught with peril. With that in mind, the best Sabatini can really do is, to the extent possible, ensure that Roma's investment in inexperience is done so pragmatically. Based on the press surrounding these two, as well as Sanabria and Paredes, the risk appears to be a well calculated one.
You know, if you believe what you read on the Internet, that is.
Marquinho Mulling Offers
With the winter transfer window about to slam shut, Marquinho's Inter Milan dream is dying a slow death, leaving #7 with fewer and fewer alternatives to life as Roma reserve. If Singular wants to keep his Serie A career alive, his options appear to have dwindled to only Genoa or Hellas Verona.
I personally don't revile him as most Roma fans, but, just make a decision, Marquinho!
The Old Lady Loves Osvaldo
We'll end this one with an old favorite. Fresh off yet another clash with a teammate, it looks like Pablo Osvaldo's career in England will be short lived, indeed. Word came down today that none other than your Serie A leaders, Juventus, are keen on bringing on PDO on a short-term loan, which is most likely dependent upon Mirko Vucinic heading off to England himself, Arsenal to be specific.
This seems like a desperation move for Juve, one that could reap rewards and, at the very least, would make for an interesting return fixture.