Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Is AS Roma Targeting Michael Bradley and Landon Donovan This Summer?


This Sunday is the last match-week in the 2010-2011 Serie A season but the fates of most of the Italian sides are already known. At the top of the table, Milan has secured the Scudetto while Inter and Napoli are assured spots in the Champions League. At the bottom of the table, Sampdoria, Brescia, and Bari will be relegated to Serie B for the 2011-2012 season. In the eternal city, Lazio still has a shot at a Champions League spot, but Roma, after a rocky season, needs to beat Sampdoria to guarantee a Europa League spot.

It's been a disappointing season for Roma, but the sale of the club to American Thomas R. DiBenedetto does mean that Roma could be very busy during this summer's transfer window. DiBenedetto, who also owns a stake in the Boston Red Sox, has indicated an interest in expanding the Roma brand across the United States; therefore, it's not surprising that Soccer Italia is reporting the rumor that Roma will be targeting two high profile American players this summer, Landon Donovan and Michael Bradley.

Landon Donovan currently plays for Los Angeles Galaxy in MLS, but is no stranger to European club football. While Donovan had some lackluster stints in Germany's Bundesliga, during the spring of 2010 he impressed on a short loan to Everton in the EPL. With rumors that Marco Borriello, Mirko Vucinic, and Daniele De Rossi could be leaving Roma this summer, Landon Donovan could easily find playing time in Serie A next season alongside Francesco Totti.

Michael Bradley has been on loan from Borussia Mönchengladbach to Aston Villa, where he's seen very little playing time. Bradley could bring some physical play to Roma's midfield, which can use some talent upgrades, and be a potential replacement for the enforcer role once filled by French defender Philippe Mexes, who is apparently headed to Milan on a four year deal.

Keep in mind that Roma is looking to make some noise on the transfer market this summer, and that will include occasionally linking the club to certain high profile players for marketing reasons. Whether the rumor of Roma's interest in Donovan and Bradley is a marketing ploy or a serious attempt to bring a couple Americans to the Eternal City, we'll know the answer this summer.

UPDATE:

Tuesday evening, the official MLS website published Greg Seltzer's interview with Thomas DiBenedetto, in which DiBenedetto confirmed Roma's interest in Donovan and Bradley.

MORE UPDATES:

The Americanization of Roma -- New York Times

DiBenedetto confirms Sabatini for Roma -- Boston Globe

Roma Interested In Signing Landon Donovan & Michael Bradley -- The Big Lead

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