Over the weekend the Manchester Evening News and other sources reported that Roma are eyeing a bid for Manchester City’s Edin Dzeko. The Bosnian striker was instrumental in helping the Citizens become Premier League champions in 2012 and 2014. However, the former Wolfsburg man, who scored only two goals in his last 23 appearances for City, has fallen down the pecking order at the Ethihad of late.
Meanwhile Roma, who are Serie A runners up for the second consecutive season, have been suffering from a serious deficiency in the goals department. Last season not a single player on the squad was able to crack double digits in the scoring column, with Francesco Totti and Adam Ljajic tied on eight goals for top scorer at the club. For two seasons in a row, manager Rudi Garcia has seen his team start out strongly before eventually succumbing to Juventus with its superior squad and depth in attacking positions.
If Roma are to mount a sustainable challenge to Juve’s hegemony, they need a goal scorer. At age 38, Totti remains one of Italian football’s most elegant elder statesmen. However there seems to be few among the rest of Roma’s strike force that’ve demonstrated themselves capable of following in the footsteps of the distinguished captain who is the club’s all-time leading scorer. Roma are crying out for a world-class striker in his prime who could bang in 20-25 goals a season. And Dzeko, who’s scored 20+ goals in six of his last eight seasons, would fit the bill nicely.
At age 29, he’s still young enough and fit enough to play in the Premier League. However as his 30s dawn, a move to Serie A might suit Dzeko who reportedly rejected a potential move to Liverpool earlier this summer. Having lost his place in the City team, moving to Roma could guarantee Dzeko first-team football, something that could be vital in the run-up to Euro 2016.
Bosnia-Herzegovina are currently fifth in their qualifying group. But with just one point separating them from third place and a shot at a playoff, they could still feasibly qualify for the tournament, which takes place in France next summer. At Roma, Dzeko would also have the chance to play alongside his international teammate, Miralem Pjanic. But while Roma consider Dzeko an ideal signing, the main issue seems to be the money. The striker is on a lucrative contract that runs until 2018 and Roma could find it difficult to foot his substantial wages. Any deal to bring Dzeko to Roma will likely hinge on City bringing down their current asking price of around $27 million.
However City currently have 17 non-homegrown players in their squad, meaning they will have to move players on in order to pursue any of the international transfer targets they’ve been linked to. If a deal becomes eminent for the likes of Kevin De Bruyne or Paul Pogba, City might yet lower their asking fee just to free up squad space.