Walter Sabatini has had one burning obsession for the last 18 months, and that obsession goes by the name of Juan Jesus. The Brazilian defender has been on the wishlist of Roma's sporting director for the last three sessions of the transfer market, coming particularly close to signing him on deadline day last summer, and now he is very close to bringing him to the capital - provided the player himself accepts the transfer. Which is anything but guaranteed.
Up until a few days ago the team in pole position for JJ's signature appeared to be Watford, as the Pozzo family were the only club willing to sign him on a permanent deal, but in the last few hours things have changed and now the Giallorossi are closer than they have ever been to winning the race. This is because they have now opened up to the possibility of a permanent deal themselves (having previously only wanted a loan), or at least a variation on a permanent deal.
According to Alfredo Pedulla, Inter and Roma have agreed a deal that foresees a €1m loan move and a €9m obligatory buy-out clause at the end of the season - or in other words, a €10m transfer fee which is delayed by twelve months. Inter have always been clear that they would like the guarantee of receiving a chunk of money for Juan, while Roma would prefer not to spend that money immediately due to their own Financial Fair Play restrictions, so this agreement suits both parties.
As nice as it would be to recoup €10m for a reserve defender, though, the deal isn't certain to go through. This is because the will of the player is almost always the most important component of a modern-day transfer, and as things stand JJ's will would appear to be to stay at Inter. Last night he was presented to the Inter fans present at the club's annual squad presentation ceremony, during our pre-season training camp at Brunico, and happily reminded people that the following campaign will be his sixth spent in our company. As well as that he has also argued with the press in recent week
If this deal were to go through, I don't think there'd be too many Interisti lamenting Juan's departure, but it's not certain that it will at the moment. Someone will need to convince him that joining Roma could be a positive move for his career, otherwise we'll miss out on a juicy profit of approximately €8m.