Corriere della Sera (Gianluca Piacentini) All that’s missing is the official announcement, which should arrive in the coming hours, and then Gregoire Defrel will be a new Roma player. At the end of protracted negotiations (the Frenchman was on the verge of a move to the Giallorossi in January before talks collapsed), Roma and Sassuolo have finally found an agreement. The Emilian club will receive around €20m (plus bonuses) while the forward will sign a 5-year contract before joining up with his new squad, which leaves for their tour of the United States tomorrow.
The talks were long and laborious, and in the end Sassuolo slightly lowered their original demands of €25m, which was partly due to the number of players they have signed from Trigoria. Yesterday, for example, the youngster Riccardo Marchizza underwent his medical with the Emilian club, who paid €4.5m for him. The former Primavera defender is just the latest in a long line of young players – Antei, Pellegrini, Mazzitelli, Federico Ricci, Politano, Frattesi – who have made the same journey (Pellegrini eventually came back) as Defrel, who will be reunited with Eusebio Di Francesco, though in the opposite direction. The coach mainly used him as a centre forward, but also played him on the wing when necessary. He will therefore be more of a back up for Dzeko than a replacement for Salah, as Monchi – who met president Pallotta in London a couple of days ago for a fleeting visit – has a couple of surprises in store for that role.
Yesterday, the English media once again linked Mahrez with a move, though he is also being watched by Arsenal and Barcelona and is valued at €50m by Leicester, which is too high for Roma. Much more likely are Nasri (his agent made contact with the club yesterday), Suso or Yarmolenko. Turning to central defence, talks with Schalke for Nastasic are ongoing. Roma have made an offer of around €12m, comprising loan fee and obligation to buy, while the German club are asking for €15m. 2 of Roma’s other central defenders, Hector Moreno and Juan Jesus, were interviewed by the media at Pinzolo yesterday. “We’re not far off Juventus,” they said, “They might seem like a machine but we can improve on our points record and achieve big things.” While the club wait to replace Mario Rui, the loan move of ’99-born Trusescu, Danut Coman’s left back, has been made official.