Was Chelsea forward Pedro the spark that ignited the fire leading to the bitter feud between AS Roma sporting director Gianluca Petrachi and team president Jim Pallotta? According to a report in the Daily Mail, that’s allegedly the case.
The British newspaper is suggesting that Petrachi’s threat to quit his role with AS Roma stems from a disagreement he and Pallotta got into over Pedro. Petrachi wanted to sign the Spanish forward when his contract with English Premier League club Chelsea expires at the end of June.
Petrachi reportedly had reached a verbal agreement with Pedro on a contact. However, the word is that Pallotta vetoed the move.
According to reports by La Gazzetta dello Sport and Il Messaggero, Pallotta prefers to sell some players to help the cash-strapped Serie A club’s bottom line before putting any of their finances into new signings. These reports insist that Pallotta isn’t even open to the idea of free transfers.
The roots of Roma’s money issues come from Pallotta’s decision to reject a €575m offer from the Friedkin Group to take over the team. According to the Financial Times, advisors to Pallotta were dismayed by his decision to reject the offer.
Sources close to Dan Friedkin, head of the Friedkin Group, indicated that he was ready to pay €125m at the signing, with a further €52m over six months and €85m by the end of the year. He was also willing to cover minority interests in the club by doling out an additional €13m.
“It was a risky move to reject €575m,” the source told the Financial Times.
Petrachi, who’s been on the job at Roma for less than a year, was also said to be put off when Pallotta gave an interview and thanked everyone for the roles on the building of the team with the exception of Petrachi. Another name mentioned who could potentially be interested in acquiring Roma is former Bordeaux owner Joseph DaGrosa.
Meanwhile, if it turns out that Petrachi is out as sporting director, speculation is that Roma would pursue Atlético Madrid sporting director Andrea Berta.
There are also reports of disarray in the Roma boardroom. This utter uncertainty over how to proceed with transfer negotiations is creating friction among those charged with overseeing the fortunes of the side that currently sits fifth in the Serie A table.
Former club directors Francesco Totti, Monchi and Walter Sabatini have all complained at various point that are too many voices involved in the decisions made at the capital club.
How will all this unrest impact the online sports betting odds on AS Roma as they prepare for a June 24 Serie A return to action against Sampdoria?
The reasons why Roma would be willing to place a bet on Pedro are understandable. His resume is filled with accomplishments.
Pedro scored 99 goals in 320 appearances across all competitions during eight seasons with Barcelona from 2008 to 2015 prior to joining Chelsea.
He’s won 25 major honours during his career. Pedro’s success story includes five La Liga titles and a trio of UEFA Champions League titles. During the 2009-10 season, he became the first player in football history to score in six different official club competitions in the same season.
Pedro is among six players who’ve twice won the treble of La Liga title, Copa del Ray and UEFA Champions League with Barcelona. Internationally, he’s represented Spain in two World Cups and two European Championships, winning one of each title.
In August 2015, the Spaniard transferred to Chelsea on a four-year contract for €26.6m, potentially rising to €30m via performance bonus clauses.
However, it’s been a rough go of it for Pedro during the 2019-20 campaign under manager Frank Lampard. Injuries have restricted his game time and he has been limited to only 18 appearances this season in all competitions.
Roma has dipped previously into the English Premier League for talent, adding Manchester United’s Chris Smalling, Arsenal’s Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Chelsea’s Davide Zappacosta on loan moves last summer.
If Roma is out on Pedro and he doesn’t opt to re-sign with Chelsea to finish out the Premier League season, he could be headed home. He’s been linked to a number of Spanish sides, including Valencia, Sevilla and Real Betis.
Other Options For Roma
If signing Pedro is no longer on, there are other names mentioned in connection to Roma.
Roma have been linked with a move for Ireland and Burnley midfielder Jeff Hendrick. Like Pedro, Hendrick is slated to be out of contract on June 30 and has yet to sign an extension.
Other speculation is that Roma might sell Dutch winger Justin Kluivert to Arsenal as part of a package deal in order to keep Mkhitaryan in the side. Kluivert, 21, is the son of former Dutch international and current Barcelona Academy director Patrick Kluivert.
But if you ask Giallorossi boss Paulo Fonseca, he hopes to be able to count on the youngster for the future.
“They’re different,” Fonseca told Publico. “His father was a great player, a great striker. Justin has what it takes to be as good as him.
“He’s one of the young players that Roma are counting on for the future.”
Justin Kluivert has netted seven goals in 27 matches for Roma this season. He was good for just two goals in 35 appearances last season, his first with the club.