All roads lead to Roma for Jack Rodwell, now 28, who could be joining Chris Smalling in the Italian capital.
Out of contract after a disappointing spell at Blackburn, Jack Rodwell might have expected a move down the football pyramid within his own country. Instead, the one-time Everton starlet is being linked to Italian powerhouse AS Roma – a team more renown for Francesco Totti than ex Sunderland midfielders.
The potential move is even more bizarre when considering how Roma already have an Englishman in their ranks: Chris Smalling, who plays for the Serie A side on loan.
In the past, Roma had Ashley Cole for a brief spell with the fullback making 11 appearances over two years, however he was mainly remembered for looking like an outcast in the squad picture surfacing on social media.
So, why are Roma interested in the centre-midfielder? It’s a question that definitely leaves a lot to the imagination. Rodwell had his contract terminated by Sunderland for mentality issues when they dropped to the third tier and Blackburn didn’t renew his contract as he rejected their advances.
However, it can be argued Rodwell did have some promise earlier in his career. He burst onto the scene under David Moyes at Everton, which saw him complete a big transfer to Manchester City in 2012 for £15 million. Are Roma trying to recapture this Rodwell, even in spite of failures since his time at The Etihad?
The Italian side have also had somewhat of an injury crisis in their midfield to attend to, the sixth placed Serie A team are looking for a cheap option, and Rodwell is a free agent currently.
However, his wage won’t be cheap – he was rumoured to be under a contract at Sunderland which saw him £43,000 a week, even when The Black Cats fell into obscurity after successive relegations. Will Roma want to give a rather high wage to a potential has-been, not performed at his best for nearly 8 years?
Capped 3 times for England during his peak, Rodwell probably can’t believe his luck that Roma are willing to take a punt on him. Swapping Ewood Park for the Stadio Olimpico should be the stuff of dreams, but at 28 and way past his best, the transfer is tinged by sense of implausibility. Then again, Rome wasn’t built in a day, after almost a decade in the wilderness, could now be the time for Rodwell to finally realise his footballing potential? I wouldn’t hold your breath.