AS Roma have made a significant midfield capture, but United are still no closer to Miralem Pjanic.
The Giallorossi completed a move for Cagliari’s Radja Nainggolan on Tuesday, initially in a €3 million loan with an option to purchase half the player’s rights for €6 million in the summer.
And the transfer undoubtedly will raise the point of whether Pjanic – widely coveted by Europe’s financial elite – shall now be allowed to leave the Stadio Olimpico.
The contention came just a day after Walter Sabatini – Roma’s sporting director – revealed multiple offers had been received for the playmaker but the player isn’t for sale.
Pjanic himself ruled out a January exit back in November, saying he ‘certainly’ won’t leave the Giallorossi for at least 18 months, and reasons exist for things to stay that way.
For one, the Serie A giants have no reason to sell their prize asset.
Their outgoing dealings in the summer saw the club receive £69 million for the sales of Erik Lamela, Marquinhos and Pablo Daniel Osvaldo.
The cash gleaned was wisely reinvested in the likes of Mehdi Benatia, Kevin Strootman and Adem Ljajic amongst others at far less of a cost – leaving the capital outfit with a surplus and not needing a financial injection.
Further, Roma completed these operations to emerge with a better squad, one that sits second in Serie A at present with only a single loss on the term.
Following years of turmoil, the Giallorossi are on the rise under new boss Rudi Garcia – standing in stark contrast to United’s freefall.
Pjanic has been at the centre of this revolution in making up a gifted, wonderfully blended three-man midfield alongside Strootman and Daniele De Rossi.
At this stage in the Bosnian’s career, he’s in the ideal situation. Just 23, he’s at the forefront of a side truly going places - poised for a return to the Champions League - ahead of leading his country into its first ever World Cup finals.
In short – why would he leave? Nainggolan was meant to only strengthen and provide depth to Garcia’s high-functioning squad, not signal a departure of one of its key cogs.
Even look to the case of Shinji Kagawa for proof directly related to United. The Japan international was part of Europe’s most exciting rising side at Borussia Dortmund, only to leave for Old Trafford and see his career largely stall.
So don’t expect either club or player to budge – Pjanic won’t be leaving Roma for United this January.
His current position in the football world is simply too made and neither he nor his Italian capital employers will be willing to give that up.
image: © Damien Cansse