The Telegraph is reporting that AS Roma are set to sign Davide Zappacosta on loan – but the Blues should have looked to move him on permanently instead, even if that would have meant taking a hit on the transfer fee.
The Serie A outfit will now bring the 27-year-old in on loan before the transfer window shuts in September as they finally have a back-up to Alessandro Florenzi. However, there had initially been talk of a permanent switch (Il Tempo via Sport Witness), only for Chelsea’s asking price of €25m (£22.9m) to put the Giallorossi off such a deal.
As such, they are now close to completing a loan swoop for the Italy international instead.
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Since joining the Blues from Torino in 2017, Zappacosta has failed to secure a regular spot in the Chelsea side. To date, he has made just 52 appearances for the club across two campaigns, and it doesn’t look as though he will add to that number any time soon.
In the first three games of the new campaign, he is yet to feature for new boss Frank Lampard. And from a footballing point of view, he offers the Stamford Bridge outfit next to nothing at this point – Cesar Azpilicueta is the current first choice at right-back, whilst Reece James should get game time when he returns from injury.
Getting him off the wage bill for a year is all well and good, but if Roma were interested in signing what is effectively deadwood on a permanent deal, Chelsea should’ve pushed the price down to try and make the move happen.
Of course, they should not be taken advantage of, but with his contract to due to expire in two years, this summer likely represents Chelsea’s last chance to get any real money for Zappacosta before his value significantly depreciates – even if Roma weren’t offering much, it’s probably more than the Italian will fetch in a year’s time.
Instead, Zappacosta is due to return to Stamford Bridge next summer, when his contract will have just twelve months left, and the Blues will have to try and offload him once again, most likely at a reduced cost.
Which all begs the question of why Chelsea are postponing the inevitable when they’ve already found an interested party.