After a long drawn out summer saga in which the striker was heavily linked with a move to fellow Serie A rivals Inter Milan, Edin Dzeko eventually put pen to paper to extend his current contract with AS Roma until the 2022 season. The 33-year-old was due to be a free agent next summer but commits to the capital club after spending the last four seasons there.
It's been a tense few months with the Bosnian who had previously agreed to personal terms on a contract with Inter, however, the two clubs were unable to find a figure that worked for both sides with Inter only bidding up to €15 million and Roma requesting at least €20 million.
However, Dzeko then seemingly had a change of heart over the last several days. In a statement to the AS Roma website, he said, “Over the last few weeks I have realized just how much the club wanted me to stay,”.
He continues, "My conversations with the board, the work we’ve been doing with the coach, the relationship with my teammates and the love of the fans have all made me realize once again what I had already learned during these four years – that Rome is my home."
“Here there is everything we need to win something and I am delighted to be able to stay here even longer.” Roma fans will be hoping this is the case as their trophy drought during the American owned tenure of the club continues on.
Dzeko Becomes Fundamental for Fonseca
It became clear early on in his initial tenure as Roma manager that Paulo Fonseca greatly appreciated the Bosnian's talents, professionalism, and attributes that perfectly align with how he wants his teams to play. Favouring possession, passing, and movement Dzeko has become the lynchpin to the Portuguese manager's plans. He has featured from the start in almost every friendly during pre-season putting in an electric performance against Real Madrid CF, and most recently getting on the scoresheet against SS Arezzo. With his ability to both be a deadly finisher and bring others into play expect Dzeko to provide much more than the nine league goals he had last season.
One of the Striker Domino's Falls
With Dzeko having committed himself to Roma this leaves Mauro Icardi and Gonzalo Higuain without another destination to move to this summer. Both have been heavily linked with a move to Roma this summer after being told by Inter and Juventus FC respectively that they are surplus to requirements and to find new clubs.
Icardi and Higuain have both dug their heels in with respect to where they want their futures to lay. Icardi has been praying he can change new manager Antonio Conte's mind having been frozen out during pre-season, but still feels he has a future at the club. Barring that his favoured destination is apparently Juventus, having so far resisted moves to both Roma and SSC Napoli.
Dzeko's renewal effectively slams the door on his move to Rome as it was reported there was an agreement with Inter to swap the two strikers plus an extra €40-50 million going to the Milanese. More likely now is a swap deal involving Napoli and Arkadiusz Milik and cash as Inter are desperate not to hand him over to scudetto rivals Juventus.
Higuain, on the other hand, appears to have gotten his wish to stay in Torino granted, as he's aided by the arrival of his mentor Maurizio Sarri. Though it's certain Juventus would love to remove his enormous wages from their books he's featured heavily this pre-season and follows with their intent on moving Paulo Dybala this summer.
With only a little over two weeks of the summer window still open in Europe, it's going to be fascinating to see where everyone ends up.