Corriere dello Sport (Roberto Maida) It’s done. Fans won’t be told immediately, but it’s all essentially done. It isn’t just Kostas Manolas but also Leandro Paredes who is preparing to sign for Zenit St Petersburg in a double signing that was agreed overnight, after a meeting between Monchi, Baldissoni and a delegation from the Russian club in the Hilton Hotel at the airport in Munich. The bonuses and modality of payment are yet to be decided, but the fixed fee is expected to be around €45 million.
The announcement won’t be made until the start of next week. But over the last few days, Roma have been able to secure transfer revenue of €100 million: after the €42 million plus bonuses they received from Liverpool for Salah comes at least another €50 million (but perhaps more) for Manolas and Paredes, who accepted Roberto Mancini’s very generous financial offer. The new Zenit coach, who has also signed Driussi from River Plate for €15 million despite the doping issues, called both players before asking the clubs’ directors to conclude the deal. He wanted to be sure that there wouldn’t be any surprises. And Paredes, currently on holiday in Argentina, seems to have been convinced by the move, because neither Juventus nor Borussia Dortmund seem to have followed up on their initial interest, or at least don’t intend to do so imminently.
At this point, Roma have achieved their financial obligations – in respect of Financial Fair Play – of balancing their accounts by 30th June. This has been helped by the extension (until 2022) and additional €55 million refinancing they received from Goldman Sachs. Monchi is now able to turn to his favourite activity of ‘buying well’, as he promised to do during his first press conference. But it won’t be an easy job, partly because of the number of players required: Pallotta maintains that another revolution isn’t required, rather “4 or 5 good signings for the Champions League”, but the squad as it currently stands needs to be rebuilt. Looking at Spalletti’s last Roma side, Szczesny, Manolas and Salah have left, together with Paredes who wasn’t a fixture in the first 11 but was used frequently in squad rotation. Furthermore, full backs Florenzi and Emerson are out with injuries and definitely won’t be at 100% in time for the start of the season.
In addition, there really was no alternative to selling after the last 6-month report showed losses of over €53 million. This needed to be recouped through player trading – i.e. the transfer market – as was made clear during the last shareholders meeting. Fortunately Perotti scored against Genoa: if the team hadn’t secured 2nd place, and therefore qualified directly for the Champions League, the consequences for the transfer window – which officially opens on 1st July, the first day of the new financial year – would have been dire. Monchi will have to use €40 million on pre-existing commitments – the fees to make the loan moves of Bruno Peres, Perotti, Mario Rui, Juan Jesus and Fazio permanent – but he will also be able to utilise the money received from UEFA for participating in the Champions League group stage. Not to mention the fact that Mario Rui is currently in talks with Napoli, Vainqueur will sign for Galatasaray (€3.5 million to Roma, €2 million a season for him) and money received from other sales, starting with goalkeeper Skorupski who has asked to leave.