RYAN BACIC - Saturday, June 30, 2012
As soon as American Thomas DiBenedetto took over as president of AS Roma, the club has not at all hid its desire to bring in a Yank.
According to a story today by SkySport Italia, that much-rumored deal is finally right around the corner, as Chievo have reportedly accepted Roma's offer for central midfielder and USA mainstay Michael Bradley.
Bradley is coming off of a highly successful season on a personal level for the Flying Donkeys, in the process earning himself the nickname "General Bradley" from the Chievo faithful. 2011/12 was the American's first Serie A campaign after his transfer from the Bundesliga's Borussia Mönchengladbach, with whom he had spent the better part of the previous three years.
A 2011 loan to Aston Villa of the English Premier League would prove a disappointing one for Bradley, who made only three total appearances before returning to Die Fohlen.
Bradley did not appear to waver in his confidence, however, as he went on to impress mightily for Chievo and spark a variety of different transfer rumors. In addition to Roma, Palermo, Inter Milan, Fiorentina, and reigning Serie A champs Juventus have also been said at different points to be interested in bringing Bradley aboard.
If he does end up at Roma - and SkySport has reported that the deal could be done by the end of this weekend - he will find himself alongside a highly capable mentor in the center of the field in Daniele De Rossi. While De Rossi may perhaps be best known to USMNT fans for his vicious elbow to Brian McBride in the group stages of the 2006 World Cup, the Italian international's quality is undeniable: barring injury, he will surely start for the Azzurri in the Euro 2012 final on Saturday against Spain.
Bradley's understanding of the tactical side of the game took a giant leap forward during this past season for Chievo, an improvement that was readily apparent during his recent appearances for the Red, White, and Blue. Under De Rossi's tutelage, one can likely expect more of the same.
Judging by the fact that the story was also posted on Roma's official website, it seems as if Bradley's transfer is incomplete really in name only.