Over the summer, Roma sporting director Monchi stated that “Roma is not a supermarket.” However, that same transfer window, the Giallorossi sold electric forward Mohamed Salah and defender Antonio Rüdiger to the Premier League for big money. Now as the January window is nearing the end in a week, it seems like a few more names might be on their way out of the Capital.
Currently, Roma sit just three points outside the top four and are in the Champions League Round of Sixteen versus Shakhtar Donetsk, which is why the selling mentality right now is so perplexing.
The first names, and most concrete rumors of players coming out of Roma this winter, are that of Edin Džeko and Emerson Palmieri.
This deal has been valued at around €50 million and would benefit Chelsea greatly as their star striker Alvaro Morata has shown some inconsistency this season. The probable double swoop would give Morata some healthy competition and grant ‘the Blues’ a seasoned striker who is keen on scoring. In this deal, they would also be getting a fullback in Emerson to cover for Marcos Alonso. For Roma, this is not a bad piece of business.
With Dzeko approaching thirty-two come this March, it would be a good price to offload an aging striker, while also paving the way for striker Patrik Schick, who came onto the scene last year with Sampdoria and showed enormous potential, to take up the role as the primary number nine.
The next big name that has been rumored with an exit is star midfielder and Belgian international Radja Nainggolan who was linked earlier this month with a €50 million switch to the Chinese Super League. This seems to be a bit more questionable since the 29-year old has been vital for the Giallorossi for the past few season.
He recently got into some trouble and was sidelined by the team, so a move for Nainggolan would be possible with many teams who would surely be eager to swoop him up. Yet, the former Cagliari star has many times defended the club, denied any rumors that would send him away from the Stadio Olimpico, and even mocked the idea of transferring to Serie A rivals Juventus.
While his heart might be truly all for staying put in the Italian capital, if his antics continue, then Monchi could start shopping the Belgian international who has longed been of interest to Chelsea boss Antonio Conte.
Finally, we have Brazilian keeper Alisson who has sparked interest from a myriad of clubs.
It seems that Liverpool, PSG, and Real Madrid are interested in bringing the keeper over, however, a move would seem more likely in the summer after the World Cup which could see the 25-year old start in between the sticks for Brazil under Tite. Alisson is cup-tied and would be unable to feature for any of the other clubs in the Champions League.
— Matthew Santangelo (@Matt_Santangelo) January 21, 2018
The shot-stopper tallied an assist over the weekend and surely turned the heads of those that are interested in making a move in the future. As it stands, the asking price for Alisson is in the forty million euro range.
With three of the biggest names in the current Roma team being rumored with moves in the next year, it brings up an important question. Will Monchi stand firm on his statement that Roma is not a supermarket? Or will we see these players follow suit of Salah and Rudiger?
It seems as if Dzeko and Emerson’s transfer to Chelsea is all but final. While the modern game of football has little room for loyalty it just doesn’t make sense to sell some of your most important team pieces if you are trying to build on your success each year – especially in Roma’s case.
If Monchi does not keep some of his stars and vital pieces to his team, the club will make no headway in Italy or Europe anytime soon. The perfect examples to look at is that of Juventus and Napoli in the last few seasons. For example, the Bianconeri offloaded star midfielder Paul Pogba for a then record fee, but in the same window, brought in proven midfielder Miralem Pjanic from Roma for around €32 million.
If Roma wants to make any progression as a team, they must not sell their stars every year. Easier said than done however with the books being red and FFP concerns continuing to hinder their activity.
It will be interesting to see if Monchi’s statement rings true over the rest of the year.