The summer 2022 transfer window will live long in the memory for Roma, as it allowed them to bring in several high-profile players without spending much money at all.
For Jose Mourinho’s second summer at the helm, the club managed to bring in some high-pedigree players, many on free transfers or loan deals.
Coming through the gates at Trigoria were midfielders Nemanja Matic, Georginio Wijnaldum and Mady Camara, goalkeeper Mile Svilar, defender Zeki Celik and attackers Andrea Belotti and Paulo Dybala.
Some of those additions were headline grabbing, drawing attention to the club from across the wider footballing landscape.
But just how did Roma manage to pull it all off?
Here, as has become customary at Giallorossi Yorkshire, is a look back at how each summer signing unfolded. What follows is an attempt to credit the original source of each rumour and who broke the key steps along the way.
Consider it the inside story from the outside. By piecing it all together, we can work out how it all happened behind the scenes.
Nemanja MaticEmbed from Getty Images
Roma’s first signing of the summer was one that may have been easy to predict. Amid the need for a new defensive midfielder, Jose Mourinho turned to his trusty former Chelsea and Manchester United signing, Nemanja Matic.
So easy was it to foresee the chances of a reunion between Mourinho and Matic, that Calciomercato.com originally mentioned him as a possible Roma target just one day after the Special One’s appointment in May 2021. Of course, in those hours, rumours were flying around, many of which will have held no weight. Ultimately, the Serbian star completed another season with Manchester United.
On 15th April, though, he confirmed it would be his last with the English club. At the time, there was no confirmation of where he would end up. But it didn’t take long for Roma to raise their heads again.
Indeed, Mourinho even commented on Matic’s Instagram announcement that he was “proud to be part of your history”. Soon, he would become part of his present, too.
The first source to subsequently confirm Roma were ready to go after Matic was Tuttomercatoweb, on 19th April. They claimed contact was already underway and Mourinho had given his approval.
Two days later, Spanish source Todofichajes spoke of a pre-agreement between Matic and Roma.
By 11th May, Mourinho was interviewed by Sky Sports in the UK, describing Matic as a “fantastic player” but refusing to confirm what his future would hold. Six days later, Corriere Dello Sport were reporting of contact between the pair. At the same time, Gazzetta Dello Sport said the club would need convincing due to Matic’s age.
But Mourinho knows how to get his man and by 5th June, Sky Sport‘s Gianluca Di Marzio was able to reveal that Roma had taken Matic. A contract lasting one year with the option of another was set to be signed.
One day after Di Marzio’s revelation, Corriere Dello Sport jumped in with the claim Matic would take his medical by the end of the week (which was just beginning). Tuttomercatoweb even suggested he would sign his contract on the Tuesday. Although he was still on holiday, Gazzetta Dello Sport anticipated he might even arrive in Rome on the Monday. Sky, though, indicated his medicals would wait until July.
Di Marzio then confirmed on 9th June that the medical would be either on the following Monday or Tuesday – before specifying it had been narrowed down to the Monday.
On 12th June, Corriere Dello Sport reporter Jacopo Aliprandi said Matic would disembark in Rome the following morning (the aforementioned Monday), before several other sources backed it up, seemingly all having been briefed.
Filippo Biafora of Il Tempo specified the landing would be at 9:30 Italian time at Ciampino airport.
Matic subsequently did land on the Monday morning, being pictured leaving the airport in a grey blazer perhaps uncharacteristic for footballers. He then took his medical at Villa Stuart, which Aliprandi confirmed he had passed ahead of signing his one-plus-one-year contract at Trigoria the following day.
On 14th June, Di Marzio confirmed Matic’s signature on his contract. Roma formally announced his arrival that day, on the initial one-year contract as expected.
Mile SvilarEmbed from Getty Images
Also arriving on a free transfer at the start of the transfer window was new backup goalkeeper Mile Svilar, who was playing for Benfica before.
Roma’s interest was revealed by Di Marzio on 4th March, before being verified by a number of other respected sources.
One day later, Corriere Dello Sport claimed Svilar had agreed to join Roma, which Record said would be on a five-year contract.
Walfoot said he had signed the five-year deal on 26th March. Then, a day later, Fabrizio Romano reported he had completed his medical.
Per Il Tempo, Svilar was in Rome by 20th May. His individual trainer confirmed his impending transfer eight days after.
On 30th June – formally the last day of his contract with Benfica – Biafora revealed Svilar would be landing at Fiumicino airport the following day. His contract was then deposited with Serie A on 1st July, the same day his arrival was announced on the predicted five-year terms.
Zeki CelikEmbed from Getty Images
The only permanent signing Roma paid for in the summer, Zeki Celik came in from Lille to provide competition at right-back.
His links with Roma actually date back to October 2020, when L’Equipe carried news of the Giallorossi’s interest.
In terms of the post-Mourinho Roma world, the first traceable link between Celik and Roma came on 22nd May 2021, via Il Romanista, who confirmed the club were objectively keen on him.
Obviously, a move never happened that year. The first suggestion that Roma wanted to take him in 2022 was by Di Marzio on 31st May.
Then, on 3rd June, La Nazione reported that Roma had submitted a bid for the Turkey international, worth €10m. However, reports elsewhere denied the club wanted to spend that much.
There was a key step forward on 6th June, when Di Marzio said Celik had agreed personal terms with Roma. One day later, Sky also reported of contact between the full-back and Mourinho, which had convinced him.
There was still work to be done in negotiating with Lille. With the distance diminishing, Di Marzio predicted a new bid, actually of €7m, on 13th June.
Still following up the story, the same journalist revealed on 16th June that there would be a meeting between the two clubs the following day. And on that next day, Foot Mercato claimed there was almost an agreement between the parties for a €6.8m move, although Sky denied the conclusion had arrived yet.
On the 18th, Corriere Dello Sport said an agreement was there and the player would be ready to fly to Italy. Perhaps that was too soon as well, though; as Il Tempo revealed on the 19th, more contact was required that day, but it was down to a matter of hours.
On the 20th, Sky said Roma were raising their offer to get closer to Lille’s demands. Now, on top of the €7m, there would be bonuses and a sell-on clause.
By the 23rd, Sky predicted the deal could be done within three days. It actually took a while longer; on the 29th, Di Marzio said Roma would present an offer of €7m plus 15% of a future sale the following day.
It seemed to do the trick; Il Tempo reported on the 30th that an agreement was finally actually in place with Lille, including that particular clause. Di Marzio went on to confirm the story he had tracked well all summer.
The attention then turned to Celik’s physical arrival. On 1st July, Gazzetta Dello Sport confirmed a five-year contract was waiting for him the following week. At the same time, Il Tempo specified his arrival would be on the Monday (the 4th).
Again, things progressed ahead of those tentative schedules. On the 2nd, Di Marzio said Celik would be disembarking the following day – at which point Filippo Biafora specified his flight would land at 2:30pm.
On the day of his arrival, RomaPress provided confirmation that his contract would actually be for four years, which was confirmed when the club announced his signing on the 5th.
Paulo DybalaEmbed from Getty Images
Paulo Dybala to Roma was the kind of signing that no-one could have seen coming – or could they?
Linked with Roma when he was a starlet in Argentina by Gazzetta Dello Sport in 2011, his subsequent moves to Palermo and Juventus instead seemed to rule out the chances of Dybala ever representing the capital club.
But when his contract with Juventus entered its final six months in 2022, Roma came into contention again. Fresh from the ambition they had shown by appointing Mourinho as head coach several months earlier, the club could go about targeting a similarly high-profile player.
On 15th January, an article featured in Corriere Dello Sport describing how Roma’s dream of Dybala could become believable. It didn’t seem anything concrete at the time, but planted the seeds.
On 21st March, it was confirmed that Dybala would be leaving Juventus at the end of his contract. Still, Roma were far in the background.
It took until 22nd April for a claim to emerge of contact between Roma and Dybala’s entourage, which came via Radio Radio. However, it was denied by Calciomercato within a couple of days.
Yet on April 28th, La Repubblica wrote that Roma were seriously thinking about signing Dybala.
On 13th May, it became clear – via Corriere Dello Sport – that Mourinho wanted the Argentine attacker. What’s more, FootballNews24 claimed Roma had the advantage over his fellow suitors, Inter.
La Repubblica were placing Roma in pole position by 17th May. Three days later, club legend Francesco Totti publicly pencilled in a meeting with the Juventus number 10 for the coming Monday.
On the day of that meeting (23rd May), coincidentally, Il Romanista denied Roma could sign Dybala, but TyC Sports in his native Argentina said they had presented an offer.
A meeting with his agent was predicted by Corriere Dello Sport on the 27th, one day after Calciomercato claimed Roma winning the Europa Conference League on the 25th could convince Dybala.
Some contract details emerged on the 28th, when Corriere Dello Sport suggested he would be offered €5m per season plus bonuses, and TyC Sports said a deal would be for three years.
Throughout June, the situation went a bit quieter, as it appeared Inter were more likely to sign Dybala. But Tuttomercatoweb reminded Roma were in the background on the 21st and Leggo said Tiago Pinto was in Milan, with the deal back on, the next day.
On 8th July, Corriere Dello Sport said Inter were ending their efforts to sign Dybala, prompting Roma to press more. La Repubblica reported new contact on the 11th, while Radio Radio said there had been a meeting with his agent the previous day.
At the same time, Sky Sport confirmed Roma were thinking about Dybala, but he could only come if Nicolo Zaniolo left. The next day, Corriere Dello Sport said the club were going for him with or without the number 22 (who ultimately stayed and became his teammate after all).
On the 12th, La Repubblica wrote of another meeting, and the next day Corriere Dello Sport claimed Dybala was open to joining Roma. On that 13th, a couple of sources – initially TyC Sports – said an offer had been made. Although some others denied those claims, a revelation then came from Tuttomercatoweb that there was an economic agreement in place.
By the 15th, Corriere Dello Sport had Roma on pole position for Dybala. It was a critical day of developments; Teleradiostereo said a formal offer was in place and Radio Radio went as far as calling it a done deal, but Sky warned no decision had been made.
The following day, La Repubblica wrote that Mourinho was pressing for Dybala by making contact while the club prepared an offer. Other sources such as Gazzetta Dello Sport, La Stampa and Biafora confirmed the call from the manager. Meanwhile, FootballNews24 confirmed Inter were out of the running.
On the 17th, Il Tempo said Roma’s offer was ready – and Tuttomercatoweb claimed Dybala would say yes. Di Marzio narrowed the battle down to between Roma and Napoli, but FootballNews24 ruled the latter out that same day. Later on, Di Marzio revealed Roma had offered Dybala a three-year contract.
One day later, RomaPress said there would be a meeting tomorrow, but by this point, Di Marzio was ready to describe Dybala as a Roma player. Some photos emerged to prove it before he landed in Portugal, where the squad was for a pre-season friendly. His medical would follow.
A few interesting notes also emerged that day. RomaNews were the first to reveal that Dybala would not be taking the number 10 shirt as many had supposed he might. VoceGiallorossa claimed there had been contact with the Friedkins the day before, while Gazzetta Dello Sport said there had been with Totti. However it happened, Dybala was right there.
It was on the 20th when the stuff of dreams became reality and Roma announced Dybala.
Georginio WijnaldumEmbed from Getty Images
It was quite clear that Matic alone would not be enough to reinvigorate Roma’s deteriorating midfield, so another signing came in the shape of Georginio Wijnaldum.
As reports reminded in July, Roma tried taking the Dutchman back in 2016, but finally got their man six years later.
Like Matic, he was linked with Roma in the days following Mourinho’s appointment; when he was ready to leave Liverpool last year, Wijnaldum was mentioned as a target for La Magica by Gazzetta Dello Sport on 17th May.
He ultimately chose Paris Saint-Germain instead. But after that move didn’t work out, he was soon on the lookout for another new home. Roma stepped forward one again on 15th July, when Saber Desfarges reported that Wijnaldum had been offered to the club – news that was quickly relayed by other sources, such as LaRoma24, who on 1st June had somewhat innocuously included Wijnaldum in a feature about various midfield targets.
Now, things were quickly becoming more concrete. The formula would have to be a loan deal, as specified by Il Tempo one day after Desfarges’ initial reveal.
By 20th July, Corriere Dello Sport were mentioning Wijnaldum as the top name under consideration by Roma for the midfield vacancy, while it was also claimed he wanted to play for Mourinho. That same day, Checco Oddo Casano reported Roma were the most interested club and that Pinto would be involved in a meeting for him.
Di Marzio denied the chances of a meeting, but on the 21st, Andrea Di Carlo of La Repubblica said there would be one next week. Meanwhile, Il Messaggero relayed that PSG were open to the preferred formula of a loan.
There was significant progress from the player’s perspective that day; Corriere Dello Sport claimed Wijnaldum wanted the move and L’Equipe explained that he had told PSG so. Meanwhile, Mourinho was making contact with him, per Calciomercato.it.
The next day, La Repubblica confirmed a meeting between Pinto and PSG, while Foot Mercato said the loan deal was down to the final stages. Di Marzio warned, though, that Wijnaldum’s wages were too high – but he could help.
On the 23rd, Gazzetta Dello Sport confirmed there was an agreement on the formula of the move, but work had to be done on the structure of Wijnaldum’s wages. Per Il Tempo at the time, he was willing to lower his earnings. Hence, the same source said the next day that he could sign within a week.
Now it was time for Roma to take the next steps. On the 25th, Gazzetta Dello Sport informed readers that Dan Friedkin was ready to get involved himself. One day later, which was a Tuesday, Il Tempo said there could be a meeting that Friday after Pinto had already met Wijnaldum’s agent on the Monday.
By the 27th, Il Tempo could confirm that Friedkin was in Paris. He may have worked his magic, as that day, Calciomercato claimed there was an agreement with PSG.
Or maybe not – John Solano of RomaPress denied it was done by then, while Pedulla said it was close.
Il Tempo echoed the latter sentiment on the 28th, but warned it was unlikely to be completed by the end of the month. Yet Gazzetta Dello Sport spoke of a breakthrough with PSG in those hours, leaving Wijnaldum one step away from joining Roma. Teleradiostereo foresaw his arrival between the following day, a Friday, and the Saturday. Di Marzio was also writing that new contact with PSG was being made with the hope of a compromise.
So was it time for a breakthrough now? On the 29th, Leggo claimed there was a total agreement with PSG. Meanwhile, Il Romanista forecasted another meeting between the clubs in Israel, where they were both travelling for pre-season matches.
Despite all parties wanting the same outcome by this stage, there were still some doubts about how his wages would be covered. On the 30th, Gazzetta Dello Sport claimed he would renounce some bonuses with PSG, who would also cover some of his salary.
As August began, Alfredo Pedulla put a tick next to Wijnaldum’s name on a tweet. On the 2nd, Corriere Dello Sport said the deal was done and he would be travelling soon, with the intention of being presented before a friendly against Shakhtar Donetsk.
On the 3rd, Gazzetta Dello Sport said he was expected in Rome that night or the following. As it happened, Corriere Dello Sport specified he was landing that day at 3:30pm. Rudy Galetti of SportItalia confirmed his medical would take place the following day.
Di Marzio, meanwhile, was more hesitant, saying the deal would be completed the next day but he wouldn’t arrive yet. Gazzetta Dello Sport followed up by revealing his medical was possible on the Thursday (writing on a Wednesday). Biafora confirmed Wijnaldum was waiting for a flight, which had to be approved by PSG.
Then, on the 4th, Il Tempo revealed his landing could take place that day, specifically at 5:15. Di Carlo clarified his flight was due to touch down at 4:50.
Ultimately, he did land at Ciampino, before undergoing a medical the following morning (Friday) as predicted by Aliprandi. On the 5th, Wijnaldum was confirmed as a Roma player for the season.
Andrea BelottiEmbed from Getty Images
Where to start with this one? Another player who had been linked with Roma long before he actually joined, Andrea Belotti’s move on a free transfer was confirmed on 28th August.
But way before that, Roma were reportedly following him – per Gazzetta Dello Sport – as far back as January 2014 (it would later become clear that their interest stretched even further back).
Links continued throughout various summers, until the first suggestion he could be targeted specifically by Mourinho’s Roma came from Calciomercato on 5th May, 2021 – just one day after the coach’s appointment, of course.
Even the day after that, Teleradiostereo said Roma had made an offer to Torino. But, of course, he would ultimately see out the final year of his contract up there.
In terms of a link for 2022, La Stampa said Roma were in contention among other suitors on 13th April. It was also reported that Italy colleague and club captain Lorenzo Pellegrini would support the move. Belotti’s impending exit from Torino was confirmed by their club president a day later.
On 18th May, La Stampa spoke of a survey by Roma, while similar news came from Tuttomercatoweb on 27th June, when contact could have been made to his agents.
Belotti officially became a free agent on 1st July, four days after which DAZN said there had been contact from Roma to his entourage. On the same day, Tuttomercatoweb claimed Mourinho had given his approval to the move, while Di Marzio warned it would depend on player exits.
According to Corriere Della Sera, on 11th July, Mourinho made contact with Belotti, who was by now holding out for Roma. Contact resumed with the club exactly a week later, per Tuttomercatoweb.
Although the start of the season was approaching and Belotti was still without a team, things were progressing. On 29th July, La Repubblica claimed he had a virtual agreement with Roma. On the same day, Calciomercato.com reported of contact between the striker and Pellegrini.
Two days after came critical developments. According to Gazzetta Dello Sport, Mourinho called Belotti again and the centre-forward agreed to join Roma, who were now one step away from signing him.
As August began, SportItalia clarified it was a three-year deal that Belotti had agreed. On the same day, as mentioned above, their reporter Pedulla put a tick next to his name, indicating completion was close. Meanwhile, Tuttomercatoweb forecasted a meeting for the following day for the finer details.
On that next day, Gazzetta Dello Sport revealed another call from Mourinho (who had already wanted him at Tottenham two years earlier) to convince him. Elsewhere, Tuttomercatoweb reported of an agreement on wages. Interestingly, Corriere Dello Sport claimed at this point that Roma’s interest actually dated back to 2012. And another piece of information from Il Tempo was that former Palermo teammate Dybala had also contacted Belotti.
Two days after, Gazzetta Dello Sport reported further contact from Pellegrini and Dybala. At the end of that week, on 7th August, the same newspaper revealed Belotti was rejecting other clubs (like Wolves) to sign for Roma. Meanwhile, Tuttomercatoweb said the all clear would arrive between Tuesday 9th and Wednesday 10th. SportMediaset suggested his medical would be the following week.
The same source clarified on the 10th that his medical would take place on the Friday (i.e. two days later). But actually, there was a bit of a hold-up.
First, Eldor Shomurodov’s exit – which Belotti’s arrival seemingly depended on – was stalling. However, Il Tempo indicated Felix Afena-Gyan leaving instead (which would happen) could free Belotti to sign for Roma.
By the 12th, Il Tempo warned there was now an ultimatum from Belotti. The next day, Pedulla said he would wait until Wednesday 17th.
When it got to that date (and after Pedulla said Mourinho had spoken to him again on the 16th), Gazzetta Dello Sport pushed his deadline back to the Sunday 21st.
Fortunately, a bit of a breakthrough came before then, on the 18th, when Calciomercato claimed he could arrive the following day, while Tuttomercatoweb reported of another call with Mourinho.
On the 20th, Corriere Dello Sport said the deal would be closed the next day, with a pact now in place and Belotti accepting a lower salary.
La Repubblica said he was reassured he would be able to join on the 21st, two days before Calciomercato reported (on a Tuesday) that he would arrive that week.
On the 24th, Sky revealed Belotti’s agent was at Trigoria. Niccolo Ceccarini claimed Belotti himself would be in Rome within hours.
The timeframe actually stretched again; on the 25th, Il Tempo said his flight would be within hours. The next day, they said his medical would happen on the 27th – on which date they again had to report his check-ups would take place one day after.
But on the 27th, Angelo Mangiante of Sky confirmed Belotti had already taken some of his checks. The end was finally in sight.
On the 28th, Calciomercato.it revealed Belotti was at Trigoria to sign his contract. Later that day, Tuttomercatoweb confirmed he had put pen to paper.
All that was left was for Roma to announce Belotti, which they finally did that afternoon. He signed a one-year contract that could automatically prolong to three years.
Mady CamaraEmbed from Getty Images
After the arrivals of Matic and Wijnaldum, it was still a possibility that Roma would sign another midfielder. After Wijnaldum broke his leg, it became a necessity.
There had been various links throughout the summer, but a new one cropped up in the shape of Mady Camara on 25th August, for whom Di Marzio reported there was already an offer – which Sky would clarify was rejected by Olympiacos – and that he was the favourite to become Roma’s next midfield signing.
On the same day, Corriere Dello Sport spoke of a meeting and contact for the Guinean.
On Camara’s side, though, things were quickly progressing. Still on 25th August, Football News 24 revealed Tiago Pinto had met with the player’s agent to strike an agreement over personal terms.
One day later, Corriere Dello Sport confirmed Camara as Roma’s chosen next midfielder. In turn, he seemed to be putting pressure on Olympiacos to facilitate the transfer.
On the 27th, Di Marzio claimed Camara was getting closer to Roma and revealed the deal would be a loan with an option to buy. His departure would potentially be on the upcoming Monday (Di Marzio was writing on a Saturday).
In a tweet on the 28th, Checco Oddo Casano sent a tweet in which a tick was next to Camara’s name, seemingly confirming the midfielder was coming. Indeed, Sky reported that day that Roma had found an agreement with Olympiacos to sign Camara. Di Marzio forecasted a medical for Tuesday or later, having reiterated his recent claim that his arrival in Rome would be on the Monday (now just one day away).
Camara’s actual arrival in Rome took one day longer than anticipated. Sky confirmed on the 29th that he would be in Italy the following day (Tuesday) at 9:30 (RomaPress clarified it would be 9:35) before his medical checks and the signing of the contract.
On the 30th, Camara’s contract was deposited with the league and he attended Roma’s match on that night, as forecasted by Il Tempo‘s Emanuele Zotti.
It still took until the 31st for the final official announcement to arrive, capping off a busy and impressive summer window for Roma.