Reports of Roma’s financial struggles have led to plenty of transfer speculation regarding some of their most high-profile players, with Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham among the teams mooted to be casting an eye on Italy’s capital.
Last week, Roma posted debts of around €278.5million, an increase of €60million on the previous year, while their takeover talks with Dan Friedkin have stalled. Currently sitting outside the Champions League qualification places in Serie A, a further financial hit could be on the horizon.
We’ve taken a look at five players recently linked with a move away from the club who Roma may need to cash in on.
Let’s start with the man making the headlines this week. Zaniolo may not have played since December due to a serious knee injury, but the midfielder is reported to have a long-term admirer in Liverpool.
Still just 20, Zaniolo scored six times and provided two assists in the first half of the season, already matching his goal output from 2018-19, which was his first season in Rome after leaving Inter.
Three separate Italian publications have reported Liverpool’s interest in the Azzurri international, who has scored twice in five caps for his country, although Jurgen Klopp isn’t exactly short of options in midfield. Juventus are also linked with Zaniolo, while Manchester United and Tottenham have also been suggested in the past.
NEW 🚨 | Three different Italian newspapers are claiming that Liverpool are the main contenders for the signature of AS Roma midfielder Nicolo Zaniolo. The club has huge debts and could be forced to sell their biggest names. [@TempoWeb | @CorSport | @ilmessaggeroit ] pic.twitter.com/nsGCHMS6ZY
— LFC Transfer Room (@LFCTransferRoom) May 18, 2020
Alongside Zaniolo, Pellegrini is the biggest name linked with a move away from Roma amid their financial uncertainty.
PSG are reportedly leading the chase to sign the midfielder, who came through Roma’s academy but spent two seasons at Sassuolo before returning in 2017.
Another Italy international, Pellegrini has a release clause of £27million that has also caught the eye of Juventus, Inter Milan and AC Milan.
One report suggested Roma will fight to keep at least one of Pellegrini or Zaniolo this summer rather than cashing in on both.
A player regularly linked with a move to the Premier League and generally quite hyped without us really knowing if he’s actually any good.
Everton and Tottenham were reported to be monitoring the attacker, valued at €30million, in April, while it was later suggested Roma could offer the Turkey international in a swap deal with Arsenal to secure the permanent signature of Henrikh Mkhitaryan (speaking of players who we can’t decide if they’re good or not).
The 22-year-old has started just nine times in Serie A this season, having struggled with injury at the start of the campaign, scoring three goals.
Our front line of Cengiz Under, Edouard, Andrea Belotti, Dries Mertens, Lorezon Insigne,James Rodriguez, Yannick Carrasco, Immobile, Everton Soares, Ramsey, Bale, Lozano and Milik is gonna be boss https://t.co/tfrVfJy6pM
— ŞΔM🐦 (@SamG_9) April 2, 2020
Now 28, Juan left Brazil for Serie A eight years ago, spending the first four of those seasons at Inter, and initially impressed enough to break into his national side.
But the centre-back has struggled to truly establish himself as first-choice at Roma, failing to make 20+ league starts in a campaign at the club.
He has played just 194 minutes of first-team football in 2019-20 and not started in Serie A since a 3-3 draw with Genoa on the first day of the season.
In January, Roma reportedly rejected a bid from Fiorentina for the defender in the hope of recouping most of the €10million the spent on initially signing him. When the transfer market re-opens, they may find that beggers can’t be choosers.
Prior to the 2019-20 season, Dzeko’s future at Roma was under scrutiny amid interest from Chelsea and Inter.
The veteran striker ultimately stayed put in Rome and has contributed a healthy 15 goals and five assists this season, although Inter and Real Madrid were linked with moves for the 34-year-old in April, with his high wages a potential cause for concern at the Stadio Olimpico.
One destination we can probably rule out is Everton, after Dzeko told commentator Ian Darke: “What do you think I’m going to decide? I can stay in Rome or go to the pouring rain of Merseyside to play for Everton? Please don’t ask me that one again.”