Since Thomas Di Benedetto completed his takeover last week the rumour mill has been in overdrive. Name after name has been thrown up by the press, as the attempt to paint a picture of what the American Roma will look like come the beginning of next season. However, little consideration has been given to the effect these possible transfers would have on the current Roma squad.
This week, the list of defensive players that Roma are watching was said to include the likes of Simon Kjaer, Cesare Bovo and Diego Lugano. Defensive acquisitions will likely be top of the Giallorossi’s wish list as they look to plug the holes in a defence that is statistically one of the worst in the league. With Philippe Mexes on his way out of the club on a free transfer and Juan’s future in doubt amidst rumours of a move to Flamengo, it appears that the signing of at least two central defenders would have little effect on those already at the club.
The futures of John Arne Riise, Marco Cassetti and Aleandro Rosi have also been cast into doubt following inconsistent seasons, and Roma are said to be looking at both Jeremy Mathieu of Valencia and Palermo’s Federico Balzaretti as options for the left-back slot. Possibilities at right back are somewhat scarcer, but the ability of Nicolas Burdisso to fill in on the right make it less of a priority.
In attack there have been more rumours to intrigue Giallorossi fans, as the club hope to use the connections of incoming sporting director Walter Sabatini to lure Abel Hernandez and Javier Pastore from Palermo. The possible arrival of Hernandez, while exciting for the fans, could spell the end for Marco Borriello. With Stefano Okaka returning from a loan spell with Bari and Di Benedetto having stated his admiration for Francesco Totti, Borriello’s time in the Eternal City looks likely to be up.
Joining him on his way out could very well be Mirko Vucinic and Jeremy Menez. Vucinic has endured a difficult season having starred in the last campaign and it has been suggested that he may be used as a makeweight in a possible move for Gianluigi Buffon. His agent, however, was quick to quash rumours of a move away, saying: “It’s absolutely not true that Mirko wants to leave the club.” Menez, on the other hand, has come into his own this season but has found a starting berth hard to come by since the arrival of Vincenzo Montella. While there was talk of him leaving in search of first team football, the player, the club and his agent all denied that he was on his way out. Talk of Pastore arriving could hasten the departure of either Vucinic or Menez but, given their proven quality, it is difficult to imagine Di Benedetto being too keen to move either player on.
All in all, the players that will make up next season’s American Roma remain a mystery. However, with the end of the season just around the corner and the transfer window following close behind, the current Roma squad will be looking to do as much as they can to prove their worth to the new regime and hopefully cement a place in the squad for next season.