Transfer windows can be stressful times – and the one that has just concluded was one of the busiest ever.
As always, rumours were flying around at an extraordinary rate – and many major deals did go through.
While Roma didn’t sign all the targets they wanted, they were the highest spenders in Italy. It would be almost impossible to tally up the links that never materialised, though; following the arrival of Jose Mourinho, the club became headline news for rumours, making it hard to keep track.
In the end, those that did arrive at Roma were Rui Patricio, Eldor Shomurodov, Matias Vina and Tammy Abraham.
But how could fans navigate the chaos – and can the previous few months remind us who to trust?
Here’s a look back at how each of those signings unfolded, and which sources revealed Roma’s interest – and then success in pursuing – first.
The first signing of the summer – and thus Mourinho era – for Roma was the coach’s compatriot, Rui Patricio.
It was obvious from the outset that Roma needed a more reliable goalkeeper, having not had one since Alisson Becker. First, Pau Lopez needed to leave, but even before he went on loan to Marseille, the club were planning for his successor. Naturally, the media were following every twist and turn.
On May 5th, Gazzetta Dello Sport mentioned Patricio in a long list of potential targets Roma could pursue under Mourinho, thanks in part to his connection with agent Jorge Mendes.Embed from Getty Images
However, at the time, it was still thought that Juan Musso, who was at Udinese (but would eventually join Atalanta instead), was the favourite to inherit the Giallorossi gloves.
On May 12th, Corriere Dello Sport reporter Jacopo Aliprandi also listed Patricio as an option, this time along with Mike Maignan (who would go on to join Milan), Musso and Yann Sommer. The latter, as with Patricio, was an indication of the club going for a more experienced shot-stopper.
One day later, Calciomercato.com backed this notion up, naming Patricio as the most advanced option in Roma’s thinking. They also predicted he could be available for between €8m and €10m.
On May 14th, Gazzetta reported that Mourinho had spoken with the Friedkins about signing his compatriot, who was valued for his experience and cheap price. It now seemed Patricio was more likely to sign than Musso – or anyone else.
A couple of weeks later, on May 30th, Il Romanista reported that Patricio had given his “yes” to Roma.
However, at the same time, La Repubblica raised concerns that the transfer was blocked until Pau Lopez could leave.Embed from Getty Images
Progress was still being made, though; Calciomercato.it revealed on June 6th that new contacts would be made between all parties within that coming week.
One day later, Gianluigi Longari of SportItalia said the interest in Patricio was strong and those contacts were underway. Gianluca Di Marzio and Angelo Mangiante of Sky Sport then revealed the keeper was very close to joining, as a request of Mourinho. Wolves wanted €12m, but Roma would try to lower the fee.
The situation stalled while Lopez looked for a new club, but on June 25th, Sky Sport reported the Spaniard had become a target for his eventual takers Marseille. One day earlier, Corriere Dello Sport reporter Roberto Maida had claimed Wolves would accept a bid of €6m plus bonuses for Patricio, which seemed a little on the low side. This report also featured an indication that a three-year contract was probable.
Indeed, just two days later, Il Tempo‘s print edition (as cited here) warned that Wolves wanted closer to €12m. However, Patricio had by this point given his approval to Roma, so things were heading in the right direction.
As pre-season approached, Corriere Dello Sport said on July 5th that Roma and Wolves had now come to an agreement over Patricio’s transfer, and that he would undergo his medical imminently.
Three days after, Marseille announced an agreement of their own – in principle – to take Lopez from Roma, thus freeing up the space for Patricio to arrive.
Then, the following day on July 9th, Calciomercato.it said the deal was practically done for Patricio after his agent Mendes made a trip to Rome. This report spoke of a €10m transfer fee and a three-year contract.Embed from Getty Images
On the 11th, Sky claimed Patricio would be arriving one day after for his medical. In actual fact, it took one day longer than expected, as he arrived on the 13th. Later that day, Roma confirmed the transfer was official for €11.5m plus bonuses – a figure that Il Tempo came closest to. As Corriere Dello Sport initially predicted, the Portugal international signed a three-year contract.
Roma’s striker situation over the summer took many twists and turns. At the outset, it seemed Edin Dzeko would be leaving as a delayed consequence of his January fall-out with Paulo Fonseca. But when the coach was replaced by Jose Mourinho, there was a feeling that Dzeko would stay due to their prior relationship of mutual respect from their days as Premier League rivals.
However, Roma needed more support for their ageing frontman regardless. Therefore, Mourinho turned to another player he knew well without ever working with before: Eldor Shomurodov.
The Uzbekistan international had barely spent a year in Italian football, but his respectable record with Genoa prompted Roma to buy him to fulfil Mourinho’s preference of having three strikers in the same squad.
Despite him spending time in Serie A, Shomurodov was not a name that every Roma fan recognised when they were first linked with him by Il Tempo.
In the 23rd July edition of the Roman newspaper, Alessandro Austini wrote up the revelation that La Magica were looking at Shomurodov. It followed some previous claims on social media, citing Russian outlet Match TV, while the player himself had denied knowledge of Roma’s interest in interviews a couple of weeks earlier.
At the time, it was thought he could coexist with Dzeko, who still seemed likely to stay at that point. Austini reported that a deal for Shomurodov was possible for around €15m.
In actual fact, the transfer cost an initial €17.5m, but the figures of such operations are rarely forecasted with pinpoint accuracy by anyone.Embed from Getty Images
SportItalia were the next to get wind of Roma’s interest in Shomurodov, which they reported on July 25th.
Just five days after his initial report – and one day after Sky Sport revealed contacts were underway with his agent – Austini confirmed an agreement had been found between Roma and Genoa for Shomurodov’s transfer, worth around €20m.
The update came on the same day as Daniele Longo of Calciomercato.com reported of a meeting between Tiago Pinto and Shomurodov’s agent to iron out his contractual details.
Meanwhile, Nicolo Schira joined in with a claim that the deal was done, on loan with an obligation to buy and sell-on clause, for a contract until 2026. In fact, Shomurodov arrived on an immediate permanent transfer, but Genoa will indeed receive a percentage of any profit on the striker, who did sign a five-year contract.
On the same day, Paolo Rocchetti of LaRoma24 and TeleRadioStereo confirmed Genoa wanted €20m, also with the belief that it could be a loan with an obligation to buy.
By then, on July 28th, Filippo Biafora of Il Tempo said the deal was well advanced and Sky Sport and RomaPress stated the transfer was one step away – as did Corriere Dello Sport one day later. Things clearly accelerated quickly, as Gianluca Di Marzio of Sky then said the deal was done and that Shomurodov would arrive in the capital on the Monday, which was four days away.Embed from Getty Images
All sources still believed it would be a loan-plus-obligation deal. The same was predicted by Gazzetta Dello Sport, who first reported of the rumour on the 28th before claiming it was done one day later. They also suggested Genoa wanted Edoardo Bove in return – as did Eleonora Trotta of Calciomercato.it – but the midfielder would ultimately not enter the deal. (Talk of counterparts was nothing new; Il Tempo originally referred to Genoa’s interest in Pedro, who was still a Roma player at that time, without ever committing to saying it was likely).
The 29th seemed to be the decisive day, as Tuttomercatoweb also suggested then that the final details would be sorted imminently. Meanwhile, Calciomercato.com and Gianluigi Longari of SportItalia both said it was done.
Jacopo Aliprandi of Corriere Dello Sport then revealed on the 30th that Shomurodov would be arriving in Rome one day later (more than 24 hours earlier than Sky had anticipated he would).
The medical took place on the 31st after all, which Aliprandi was correct with.
Eventually, the transfer went through on August 2nd, when Roma surprised all those reporters by making Shomurodov a permanent signing straight away. However, they will still send the payments over instalments.
Following the injury to Leonardo Spinazzola at Euro 2020, there was an explosion of links with left-backs for Roma. With Riccardo Calafiori unable to cover solely by himself, there was a clear need for an additional option.
More than 20 players were linked with Roma to fill the left-back void after Spinazzola’s injury. But the reporter who hit the nail on the head was Gianluigi Longari of SportItalia, who noted of interest in Matias Vina on July 15th. He said a day later that the Giallorossi had made their opening offer of around €10m.Embed from Getty Images
Also on the 16th, Alfredo Pedulla wrote for Gazzetta Dello Sport that Roma were looking at Vina.
Sky Sport provided their own information on July 18th, confirming Roma had made a bid and negotiations were taking place. They felt Roma were ready to raise their offer to around the €15m Palmeiras wanted.
Longari revealed Roma lodged their next bid on July 19th, before tweeting an hourglass emoji to suggest the transfer was close. Additionally, Sky claimed the deal was close and down to the details. Meanwhile, Gazzetta and Calciomercato.com confirmed he was in pole position to become the club’s new left-back, despite other targets still persisting. Furthermore, Corriere Dello Sport got in on the act at this stage, while Palmeiras’ coach was publicly answering questions about Vina’s future. ReteSport said the deal was one step away; Il Messaggero agreed it was very close.
Another update from Calciomercato.com said the deal was closed and that it could be announced on the Thursday of that week, which was three days away.
In his native Uruguay, Sport890 verified Vina was about to become a Roma player. One day later, they added there was an agreement in principle between Palmeiras and Roma for the transfer. That same day, Pinto told fans while on camera that Vina was arriving.Embed from Getty Images
Some obstacles over payments with Palmeiras held the deal up, but Il Romanista revealed Pinto was working to sort them on July 24th and that Vina could team up with the squad the following week for pre-season in Portugal. That night, Corriere Dello Sport confirmed the hiccups were resolved.
The Uruguayan proceeded to land in Rome on July 25th, undergoing a period of isolation – thus missing the Portuguese training camp – before officially becoming a Roma player on August 8th.
Roma paid €13m for Vina’s services, somewhere in between SportItalia‘s estimation of their opening offer and Sky‘s prediction of Palmeiras’ demands.
As mentioned earlier, Roma’s striker situation was quite the saga over the summer. After Shomurodov’s arrival, it seemed all sorted – until Dzeko indicated a desire to leave for Inter.
Before sanctioning that exit, Roma had to find a replacement, which would not be an easy task because of Dzeko’s stature at the club. Like how the left-back links unfolded after Spinazzola’s injury, several strikers were suggested within the media to replace the Bosnian. The one Roma chose was Englishman Tammy Abraham.Embed from Getty Images
On May 22nd, before the Dzeko events unfolded but a few weeks following the announcement of Mourinho as the club’s next coach, Nicolo Schira claimed an intermediary had discussed Abraham with Roma and AC Milan, while West Ham were also interested.
It seemed to be merely a suggestion at the time and things went quiet until Dzeko decided to leave. On August 5th (although it would be impossible to find when Inter first wanted him, as they did so for a number of years), reports emerged linking the Bosnian with Inter in the event of the champions selling Romelu Lukaku to Chelsea, which would soon come true.
Dzeko’s desires clear, Roma began to be linked with many strikers; Sardar Azmoun and Andrea Belotti were among those mentioned most frequently. In among all these, though, on August 8th, Sky Sport and then Calciomercato.com included Abraham in their list of Roma’s potential targets. The belief from the latter was that it would have to be a two-year loan due to his high price tag of around €35m.
A matter of hours after those reports, Sky Sport spoke of an agreement between Roma and Chelsea for Abraham’s transfer. However, there was still work to do on convincing the player himself. With that in mind, they also reported of Mourinho making personal contact with the player.Embed from Getty Images
To unlock the situation, Pinto flew to London on August 11th – a trip that The Athletic‘s David Ornstein anticipated – while Abraham was in Belfast preparing for the UEFA Super Cup. In the meantime, Roma’s general manager was laying the groundworks with other representatives.
Abraham was holding out for Arsenal at the time, because they were his childhood team, but Roma stepped up their efforts on August 12th. Corriere Dello Sport claimed of a face-to-face meeting with Pinto, who offered Abraham the number nine shirt, a €4.5m salary and a guaranteed starting role.
More work was required, though. Subsequently, Il Tempo‘s Austini revealed another meeting would take place the following day.
Indeed it did, as Corriere Dello Sport went on to cover. This seemed to be a decisive day, because they claimed Abraham was becoming appreciative of Roma’s efforts to sign him despite still having hopes for Arsenal – who were yet to negotiate with Chelsea. Furthermore, Sky Sport revealed Pinto would stay in the UK for one more day to keep plugging away at the deal.
That same day, La Repubblica claimed Roma were raising their wage offer to Abraham to help convince him further, and that he was warming to the move. However, that claim was described as fake news by Paolo Rocchetti, who nonetheless reported optimism that the deal was getting closer and a decision would be made the following day.
That next day, the 14th, La Repubblica claimed the agreement was one step away, because Mourinho was convincing him.Embed from Getty Images
Abraham’s mind was now made up, and on the 15th, he arrived at Ciampino airport in Rome. A portion of supporters greeted him upon his entry into Italy.
On the 17th, Roma announced the signing of Abraham. Although, like with Shomurodov, they made it a permanent transfer straight away, rather than an initial loan as others were anticipating.
The transfer fee was an initial €40m, a figure Sky were fairly accurate with three days earlier. Before then, all sources thought it would cost slightly more; of course, it could yet thanks to add-ons.
At the end of the day, the only thing that mattered was that Abraham was a Roma player.
And so concluded a busy transfer window for the club, its fans and journalists alike. Until January…