When four newspapers all corroborate the same story, then something has happened.
Whether it’s a mass briefing or there is genuine movement behind the scenes, we can’t tell you just yet, but Gazzetta dello Sport, Corriere dello Sport, Il Messaggero and Il Tempo are all reporting that Roma will try and go for Tottenham’s Toby Alderweireld.
What started off as an intermediary offering the player around just under two weeks ago has grown into something very different.
We’ll start with Gazzetta, as all four stories are very similar, and then we’ll go over any differences with other articles later on.
The main angle in their report is that Alderweireld, who has a €27m (or €30m depending on where you look) release clause in his contract at Tottenham that is valid until July 25th, has given the green light for a move to Italy’s capital.
While that is a very affordable fee for a player of his calibre, Roma would rather not pay that much, and will try and lower that fee rather considerably, hoping to convince Daniel Levy to let his player go for as little as €12m.
There will also be work to do on the Belgian’s wages, as €4m/year is a tad too high, but a three-year contract would see him be willing to lower his demands somewhat.
They explain Alderweireld’s willingness to move to AS Roma has come after he had a chat with one of their former players: his national teammate Radja Nainggolan.
The reason why the Italian side have turned their attention to the Tottenham player is due to the difficulties encountered in trying to convince Atalanta to let Gianluca Mancini go.
Corriere echo their counterparts, reporting the player’s release clause is too high for having one year left on his deal, and if Stephan El Shaarawy is worth €16m at 27, then Alderweireld, who is 30, is worth around €10m.
We’ll play along with their logic for now, moving onto the contract, where it’s stated the Italians can only offer the player €2.5m/year with bonuses until 2023.
Thankfully for you and for us, that’s where the differences end, as Il Tempo and Il Messaggero repeat more of the same (the price will need to be reduced and the €4m wages issue).
If that wasn’t enough, Calciomercato decided to join the party on Thursday morning, as they explain Roma’s new director of football, Gianluca Petrachi, is expected to meet with Alderweireld’s agent on Thursday, where they will present an ‘important contractual offer’.
Furthermore, Franco Baldini is ‘ready to fly to London to negotiate with Tottenham’, with whom he has a very good relationship from his previous time there.
There’s a lot going on, and if there wasn’t anything serious in this, that wouldn’t be the case.