Six times Roma hijacked a transfer over another Serie A team

If you put ‘Roma transfer hijack’ into Google, many of the results on the first page will be about Barcelona snatching Malcom from under La Magica’s noses in 2018.

But there have been examples of Roma sneaking into battles to sign players themselves and ultimately overpowering clubs who may have looked more likely to complete the deals too.

Here, Giallorossi Yorkshire recalls a handful of players who seemed destined for elsewhere until Roma changed their course.

Dean Huijsen

Roma’s first signing of 2024 was not a household name, but a lack of depth in defence and serious Financial Fair Play restrictions made it a necessity to think outside the box.

After abandoning a deal to bring Leonardo Bonucci back to Italy, the solution they identified was Juventus prospect Dean Huijsen.

Reports had claimed that Frosinone had already agreed to take Huijsen on loan from Juventus, with whom they had good relations after a similar deal for Matias Soule in the summer.

Initially, it seemed like Juventus wanted to keep their word with Frosinone, but Huijsen held out for Roma, who eventually won the tug of war and paid to take him on loan for the second half of the 2023-24 season.

Bryan Reynolds

Given how his Roma career went, it seems peculiar looking back at the range of interest there was in Bryan Reynolds before he joined the Giallorossi in the first transfer window of the Friedkin era.

In this instance, Juventus were very confident of bringing him across the pond from FC Dallas, even lining up his immediate next step of a loan to Benevento.

But Roma’s long-term interest resurfaced in time for them to overtake Juventus and sign Reynolds in February 2021.

Unfortunately, the right-back was not up to standard in Serie A and went on to embark on a club career in Belgium after Roma got rid of him.

Patrik Schick

And here we have another example of Juventus almost signing a player who would become a Roma flop instead.

After a positive debut season in Italian football with Sampdoria, Schick underwent a medical ahead of a move to Juventus.

However, something wasn’t quite right, which put the transfer on hold.

Roma swooped in to sign Schick in a club-record transfer instead, but the fact they still had Edin Dzeko at centre-forward made the move rather unnecessary.

Schick has since done well in the Bundesliga, but his time with Roma is not remembered fondly, always looking like a bad fit.

Mohamed Salah

Mohamed Salah is one of the best players in the world now and has been for a while, but to get to that point he had to resurrect his career in Italy.

His first attempt at making it in the Premier League with Chelsea had not gone to plan, so the Blues lent him to Fiorentina for six months in 2015. It was an enlightening spell for Salah, who caught Roma’s attention playing against them.

At the end of his spell in Florence, Fiorentina thought they had the right to complete a permanent deal for Salah. However, Roma entered negotiations with Chelsea instead and agreed to take him on loan with an option to buy.

Fiorentina were furious and threatened legal action, but all parties were later cleared by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Salah was impressive in his two seasons at Roma, before Liverpool gave him another opportunity in the Premier League, which he this time made the most of and became a legend there.

Juan Manuel Iturbe

Juan Manuel Iturbe spent the 2013-14 season with Hellas Verona, scoring eight goals from 33 Serie A appearances.

It generated excitement among some bigger clubs, including Juventus. At one point, a tweet from Iturbe indicated only a little more patience was required before his move to Turin.

But it turned out to be a turbulent summer at Juventus. The resignation of Antonio Conte as head coach clouded their activity and even in the days before then, reports said the Old Lady were reluctant to increase their offer for Iturbe.

Roma came in with their own offer soon after and Verona accepted. Sadly, Iturbe never matched the goal tally of his one year at Verona in two-and-a-half with the Lupi.

Davide Astori

Another signing in the summer of 2014 for Roma was Davide Astori, who earned his long-awaited chance with a bigger club after a lengthy spell at Cagliari.

Astori had been heavily linked with Lazio that summer, but talks collapsed and he signed a new contract in Sardinia instead.

Just days later, though, his loan move to Roma was announced, which prompted some frustration across the capital.

In his interviews, Astori initially denied turning down Lazio, but later clarified that he could not speak to them until they had found an agreement with Cagliari, indicating there was something concrete before Roma took their chance.

The defender was happy with his final choice of joining Roma, explaining how he understood the magnitude of everything connected to the club (and derby) once he arrived. Alas, Roma did not keep him after his loan spell.

Astori, by then Fiorentina’s captain, tragically passed away in 2018. A year later, the Stadio Olimpico stopped to remember him during the Derby Della Capitale with a minute’s applause.

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