There hasn’t been a transfer window in recent years when Chelsea had not been linked with a player or three from AS Roma. This “honor” used to belong to Atletico Madrid, but these days it’s Roma — a testament to their good work in player recruitment, development, and value-added sales. With former Sevilla sporting director Monchi taking over from Walter Sabatini last summer, this level of excellence has been maintained in the Italian capital.
One of Sabatini’s final few acquisitions was goalkeeper Alisson Becker, plucked from Internacional in Brazil as a 23-year-old after just one excellent season. Alisson then spent an entire year as back-up to former Arsenal joke Wojciech Szczęsny, who’s shed that label to become Gigi Buffon’s heir apparent at Juventus last summer. Alisson was promoted to starter, and proceeded to turn many heads, vaulting to the very top of many teams’ wishlists in the 12 months since. The likes of Real Madird, Liverpool, and of course Chelsea have been strongly linked.
We are in a World Cup year however, and the attention of the sport’s best players, including Alisson, are all on the competition. That makes it more difficult for clubs to negotiate transfers for those players. So despite all the rumors, it’s not that surprising that Roma have yet to receive any actual offers for the highly coveted goalkeeper, as revealed by Monchi yesterday.
“Up to today we haven’t received any offers for him. My thoughts on the matter are to wait until [after] the World Cup, hoping for his and Brazil’s sake that it doesn’t come too soon for them, then he can rest and come here to train with his team-mates.”
“I repeat - up to today there has been no offer for Alisson.”
Speculation about Alisson will remain heavy, specially if he manages to have a good World Cup. All three of aforementioned teams have taken a turn as favorites for his signature, with Spanish newspaper Marca recently putting Chelsea forward again as the prime candidate for his signature, claiming that the Blues are willing to spend €70 million on his purchase — €30 million more than Real Madrid.
But the Chelsea-Roma rumor mill does not stop there. There is also the potential reunion of Antonio Rüdiger and Kostas Manolas in defence, even though neither Manolas nor Roma appear to be too keen on that.
Fortunately, Monchi reinforced those claims as well, so we don’t have to worry about Chelsea spending money in this case.
“I’ve spoken to Kostas three or four times, he enjoys my job and might make a decent director of football himself! He’s happy with the team and wants to stay.”
“I’ve read that Chelsea want to pay the buyout clause, but I haven’t heard anything. I feel calm.”
-Monchi; source: FourFourTwo
Monchi may be calm, but nothing in Chelsea’s dealings so far this summer has inspired anything of the sort over on our side of the equation. That said, Manolas is surely not a needed piece at the moment and the Alisson transfer would depend greatly on Thibaut Courtois’ future, who may yet sign a new contract with the Blues. We won’t know that until after the World Cup probably, which leaves very little time for anything else. And there wasn’t much time to begin with and still everything left to do.