La Gazzetta dello Sport (Davide Stoppini) Roma will be ready in 5. Not 5 minutes, just to be clear. They need a lot longer just to set out their short term plans, which the club’s management has been doing recently during meetings in Boston. No, 5 signings, while keeping as much of the current squad together as possible, in order to have the deep squad necessary to progress beyond the Champions League group stage. This is Roma’s target for next year.
The task of achieving it is in the hands of Monchi: with the objective established, it’s now over to the Spanish sporting director to take the necessary steps towards achieving it. 5 major signings, discounting less important signings – like the backup for Alisson, Mirante is currently the favourite – while unforeseen sales may also have an impact. Looking at the midfield: “It will remain intact”, according to James Pallotta. He was referring to Strootman and Nainggolan, who Spalletti wants at Inter but won’t be allowed to leave Trigoria.
The midfield will be completed by Lorenzo Pellegrini returning home, the first of the 5 signings, as Roma will take up their option to buy him back for €10 million before 30th June. The deal will be done before that date, possibly next week, once they have officially appointed Di Francesco and agreed personal terms with the player. In theory the midfield should then be complete, given that De Rossi has also renewed his contract.
But keep an eye on Paredes, he might be on his way out: if the right offer comes in – the asking price is €20 million, and Zenit are interested – the Argentine will leave, and Monchi will need to sign another regista. If that turns out to be necessary, the preferred option is Seri of Nice.
Whatever happens, 2 of the 5 signings will be in defence. A full back and a centre back, given the probable departure of Rudiger, who has made it known at Trigoria that he wouldn’t be too upset at the idea of leaving. There are a lot of names on the list to replace the German: Spanish-based players top the list – the Argentine German Pezzella of Real Betis (release clause of €17 million) and the Uruguayan Mauricio Lemos, who has been a revelation over the last 18 months at Las Palmas. Monchi thinks highly of Feyenoord’s right back Rick Karsdorp, who is already in and around the Dutch national team.
There will be other arrivals in attack to support Dzeko. Roma are in desperate need of an alternative to the Bosnian, and the performances of Andrea Favilli of Ascoli haven’t gone unnoticed by Monchi, who is ready to compete for his signature with Juve, who are already ‘encouraging’ the Marchigiani side to sign the forward permanently from Livorno. The other arrival will be a top signing for the wings: Salah – who posed for a photo with 2 Liverpool fans while in Egypt – is on his way out, and while the club’s interest in Izquierdo and Ruiz is unconfirmed, Di Francesco will do everything possible to bring Domenico Berardi with him. The path between the clubs is a well-worn one, and there will be no shortage of bargaining chips during negotiations. Any other signings will be entirely down to Monchi’s imagination.