Roma president James Pallotta happens to be from Boston, and is an avid basketball fan. When asked about the transfer status of his squad, he said anyone and everyone is on the table.
“Daniele De Rossi to stay? We’ll see. All players are on the market, it’s the same for my Celtics” the American said in an interview with RAI Sport.
While I don’t think the Roma president – who happens to be a Celtics co-owner – will be pushing the firesale button on his soccer team like they did in the NBA, the point is clear:
Nobody is untouchable.
That sentiment obviously includes U.S. international Michael Bradley, who has locked down a starting spot in Roma’s midfield since his move from Chievo one year ago. The 25-year-old has found great success in Italy as a holding midfielder, as his physical playing style and tireless engine have translated perfectly into the Italian game.
For that reason, he could be a perfect target for an aging midfield, such as that of AC Milan – I don’t think there would be many who doubt he could give the current midfielders there a good run for their spot. However, I don’t think Roma will be looking to sell one of their more prized possessions that easily.
Despite the statement of blanket availability, Pallotta then did backtrack a touch, saying his captain Francesco Totti would be difficult to part with.
“Francesco Totti will always be a part of Roma and we want him to stay. He will certainly play for one or two more years, we’ve got to understand the situation along with him. I don’t know if he wants to play until he’s 40. He may well do, but if he gets to 40 then he’ll ask me if he can continue until he’s 50!”
Reports out of Turkey say Newcastle United have finally struck the transfer market for a new No. 10.
[ MORE: West Ham adds Diop ]
Aksam reports that Rafa Benitez got the Magpies hierarchy to activate a near $12 million release clause for Besiktas midfielder Oguzhan Ozyakup.
The 25-year-old was part of Arsenal’s youth set-up until 2012, making two League Cup appearances in 2011-12 before moving to Besiktas.
Dutch-born Ozyakup is 35-times capped with a goal for Turkey, twice captaining the Crescent-Stars.
Ozyakup lost playing time to Talisca this season, and registered just four assists in 24 appearances. In 219 appearances for Besiktas, he’s posted 27 goals with 50 assists.
Like the move for Newcastle?
Manchester United and Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku has an inspiring and emotional post in The Players’ Tribune which tugs at the heart strings and explains his competitive fire.
[ MORE: West Ham adds Diop ]
Lukaku talks about how his family’s poverty caused him to become a fierce competitor in the hopes of meeting his dreams head-on and providing for his family.
The Belgian, 25, scored twice in his side’s 3-0 World Cup-opening win over Panama earlier this week, and is now far removed from his youth, but he tells his story as if it lives fresh in his mind.
From The Players’ Tribune:
There were even times when my mum had to “borrow” bread from the bakery down the street. The bakers knew me and my little brother, so they’d let her take a loaf of bread on Monday and pay them back on Friday.
Lukaku also talks about racism in football, his debut for Anderlecht, and that aforementioned competitive drive. It’s 100 percent worth the read.
West Ham has reportedly set a club record with its latest signing under new manager Manuel Pellegrini.
Issa Diop is the player, the 21-year-old Toulouse captain and center back costing the Irons around $29 million.
[ MORE: Arsenal signs Leno ]
Diop scored three goals with an assist and eight yellow cards in 31 Ligue 1 matches this season, giving the young defender 95 apps, six goals, three assists, and 23 yellows since debuting with the senior team at 18.
Capped by France at every level below the senior team, Diop’s 2.2 interceptions per game ranked sixth in Ligue 1.
Toulose finished 18th in Ligue 1, but won its promotion/relegation playoff to stay in the French top flight.
“I am very happy to sign for such a historic, English club, and I hope to show my best here. I am a very ambitious player and West Ham is a very ambitious club, as we’ve seen with the appointment of the new coach. I hope to help the team win lots of games and make the fans happy.”
In the third episode of Layla’s Occasionally Unbiased Football Show, England pulls out a massive win while VAR finds its way into the World Cup spotlight.
[ LIVE: World Cup scores ]
There will be plenty more to come over the next few weeks, with the show coming via the Men In Blazers.
Click play on the video above to watch the first episode in full.