Corriere dello Sport (Roberto Maida) Necessity dictates that this option is taken seriously: Roma are scouring the market for players available on a free transfer. At this stage they have no other option, with their last financial statement heavily in the red and participation in the Champions League not yet assured. And so Monchi, who will be in Valencia tomorrow for the game against Sevilla, is working closely with Ricky Massara to establish if there are options available who would fit in with the team’s needs next season.
Of this group of potential riches, the player who is most likely to join Roma is Jesus Navas, the Spanish winger who is out of contract at Manchester City. He and Massara already spoke last January, but more importantly he has also met with Monchi, who oversaw his development as a youngster. Navas, born in ’85, is intrigued by the option of joining Roma but at the same time is considering a return home, to Sevilla. However in Spain they are sure that Monchi has the advantage and that the three year deal offered to the player, from a strictly financial perspective, is sufficient reason to put Roma in pole position.
But that isn’t all. Monchi is also interested in Rachid Ghezzal, the French-born Algerian who helped Lyon to knock Roma out of the Europa League: born in ’92, buying him for nothing would be an intelligent investment. He is also keeping an eye on Gonzalo Rodriguez, who is looking as though he will leave Fiorentina, for the defence. Yesterday his agent was vague about the future of his client but Gonzalo, who Monchi held in high regard while he was at Villarreal, remains an option for an area of the team that will be overhauled again in the summer.
This is because, in addition to Manolas if he goes (as seems likely), Roma will also lose Vermaelen, who will return to Barcelona following a discouraging year on loan. So at least two new centre backs will need to be signed as replacements. One could be the under-21 international Clement Lenglet, among the options most preferred by Monchi, who is left footed and so could slot in alongside Rudiger or Fazio perfectly. Other targets are the Argentine Pezzella at Betis and the German Badstuber, who hasn’t played much at Schalke 04 due to injury problems but is owned by Bayern Munich. In midfield: Kessie will join, the Pellegrini situation is under control, while the situation regarding Torino’s Baselli is being constantly monitored. A backup for Dzeko is needed in attack: Dolberg of Ajax is more than just an idea. Finally a thought on goalkeepers: Szczesny is asking to stay. How will Roma respond?