AS Roma transfer plans stall: Spinazzola and Zalewski at risk if Giallorossi can’t force Ibanez sale

AS Roma have put their incoming transfer plans on hold as they struggle to generate funds, with a lack of interest in Roger Ibanez prompting them to consider homegrown star Nicola Zalewski.

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After an early blitz to bring in four new players, AS Roma‘s movement in the 2023 summer transfer market has ground to a halt and the club are finding sales difficult to come by, hampering their ability to spend ahead of the 2023/24 Serie A season.

As reported by La Gazzetta dello Sport, the Giallorossi are unable to commit funds to new signings without generating income by selling players first, and had sought to offload centre-back Roger Ibanez.

However, a failure to secure a buyer for the Brazilian has left Roma scrambling to move players on, with the Lupi unable to meet the demands of coach Jose Mourinho to sign a midfielder and a striker. Roma are keen to bring in either Alvaro Morata or Gianluca Scamacca to lead their attack, but cannot progress until a sale is made.

Jose Mourinho and AS Roma’s Curva Sud. [@OfficialASRoma]

Early momentum has slowed down

Roma enjoyed a good start to the transfer window by securing midfielder Houssem Aouar and centre-back Evan Ndicka as free agents, as well as the loan signings of Leeds United defensive pair Diego Llorente and Rasmus Kristensen.

In addition to this, sporting director Tiago Pinto was able to cash in on much of the deadwood and back-up players at the club to meet a €30 million Financial Fair Play requirement.

Indeed, Justin Kluivert, Cristian Volpato, Benjamin Tahirovic, and Carles Perez were all been moved on for significant fees to clear the deficit before the end of June, but Roma have found further progress difficult.

The Lupi had decided to sacrifice Ibanez, amidst reported interest from Tottenham Hotspur and Atletico Madrid, but their €30m asking price and the former Fluminense defender’s unconvincing form in Serie A last season has put potential suitors off.

Roger Ibanez and Chris Smalling celebrate goal for AS Roma against Monza. [@OfficialASRoma]

Zalewski next in line

With Ibanez now likely to remain at the Stadio Olimpico, Roma are considering alternatives and the most likely candidate to be made available on the market is wingback Nicola Zalewski.

The Pole is valued at €20m and has attracted interest from Premier League duo Aston Villa and Brighton, as well Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga. Despite enjoying the faith of Mourinho, Zalewski could be sold due to an abundance of options in his position.

Indeed, Roma currently have seven players who can operate at wingback, in Mehmet Zeki Celik, Leonardo Spinazzola, Rick Karsdorp, Matias Vina, Stephan El Shaarawy, and Kristensen.

The Giallorossi expect to move Vina and Karsdorp on this summer but neither player would generate a big enough transfer fee to give the club room to manoeuvre, and Zalewski is thought to be the only candidate who can generate significant funds.

Spinazzola, meanwhile, has also been linked with a departure but it is thought that his €3m per year wages are a stumbling block for any interested parties.

Ola Solbakken celebrates scoring for AS Roma. (@OfficialASRoma)

Solbakken faces uncertain future

Further up the pitch, forward Ola Solbakken could depart after less than a year at the club, with German outfit Hoffenheim tracking the Norway international.

Solbakken only joined Roma from Bodo/Glimt in January but the Giallorossi would be willing to sell should they receive an offer of €7m for him, such is the urgency in raising funds.

Roma‘s Financial Fair Play situation would be aided by the sale of Solbakken after he was brought in as a free agent, ensuring that the Lupi can record a significant profit in their books.

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