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Rumour Mongering: Reds and Roma Plot Lovren-Zaniolo Swap Deal

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Major swap deals never actually happen but maybe this time one might actually happen (but it probably won’t).

AS Roma v SPAL - Serie A Photo by Silvia Lore/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Roma, currently sat in fifth in Serie A, will be in a touch of financial bother if they miss out on Champions League football this season and could be forced to sell, with young midfield star Nicolò Zaniolo perhaps the most interesting player who could be put up for sale.

Roma have also in the past tried to sign Dejan Lovren, and there have been rumblings again in 2020 he could be set to join I Giallorossi in the offseason. Which means it was probably only a matter of time before somebody put two and two together and got swap deal.

That somebody is IlSussidiario, who say that Roma value Zaniolo at €50-60M, which seems a touch optimistic for the 20-year-old but might just have been achievable if it wasn’t for coronavirus and if a couple of clubs had gotten into a bidding war for his services.

Now, though, there’s no way they’re getting that. Liverpool, on the other hand, probably aren’t getting the £20M or so they’d like for Lovren—a 30-year-old with a year left to go on his contract—at the moment, either. Which does all make a sort of sense of a swap deal.

It would allow Roma to still get a decent chunk of money out of the exchange while each club would get a player they want. It’s worth mentioning, though, that the Italian press proposing blockbuster swap deals that never come to pass is kind of their thing.

And that those swap deals pretty much never actually happen. And also that even for €20-30M, Liverpool probably aren’t buying the highly promising but far from essential Zaniolo this summer regardless whether they’ve legitimately been keeping tabs on the player.

Still, in theory it’s an interesting idea for bringing in a young midfield creator who checks many of the same boxes as Houssem Aouar, and it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world if this time, an Italian outlet’s talk of a transfer swap actually came to pass.