Roma dumps De Silva deal

Teenage Socceroo Danny De Silva’s dream move to Serie A giants Roma has fallen through at the last moment, Perth Glory admitted today as they confirmed he would join Dutch Eredivisie side Roda JC instead.  

And Glory’s CEO Peter Filopoulos suggested the youngster’s decision to go overseas with his family before the deal was done may have cost him his switch to Italy.

“You’ll have to speak to his agent Vince Grella or Roma about why it’s fallen through,” Filopoulos told FourFourTwo. “But his family went off overseas before anything was finalised.”

The 18-year-old Socceroo looked set to join the legendary side in June after a deal had been agreed in principal the year before.

He was farewelled by the club in July when he flew to Melbourne to join up with his new side as they prepared to play Manchester City and Real Madrid at the International Champions Cup.

Although he didn’t make an appearance for the side, the deal appeared to be final and stood to earn Perth Glory a substantial transfer fee, believed to be in excess of $2.5 million, to be paid in instalments.

Today though it was revealed the Roma deal had been abandoned and instead he would be joining Dutch Eredivisie side Roda JC on a two year loan.

New CEO Filopoulos – who joined Glory earlier this month – insisted the club would not lose out on the deal, and the loan deal to Roda would be worth as much to Perth as the sale to Roma was.

“We are not being disadvantaged by this deal,” he said. “It is unusual, but I have worked on deals like this in the past. It’s the wonderful world of football.”

Filopoulos said he had not had any dealings with Roma about De Silva since starting in his job two weeks ago, replacing Jason Brewer as CEO following last season’s salary cap sort scandal.

“I have only been dealing with this loan to Roda since I started on August 10,” he said. “Roma were initially signing De Silva and loaning him out to Roda as I understand it.

“But that move to Roma did not eventuate and Danny is a Perth Glory contracted player. Since I started, I have only been dealing direct with Roda and we finalised the deal yesterday.”

An Italian tutor worked with De Silva and his brother twice a week in anticipation of the move.

Speaking to FourFourTwo in June, De Silva admitted then that there was some work still needing to be finished on the contract details - but he appeared convinced it would be going ahead.

“I’ll be in Italy, so it’s going to be another step up obviously from the A-League,” he said ahead of the impending move.

“It’s going to be a lot different, obviously in a different country, different culture and everything so yeah, it’s a different lifestyle completely. I’m really looking forward to it and my family is really looking forward to it as well.

“Obviously I’m a little nervous and excited because I’m going to be with such big players, the likes of Totti, De Rossi and Gervinho.

“I’m just happy everything is almost done and that I’m just looking forward to getting over there.”

But he admitted: “It’s not completely finalised.

“It’s a little hard to say but the contract term is all sorted and everything, but I’m not sure if I’m allowed to say, so I’ll have to leave that question… because I’m not sure if I’m allowed to say what’s going to happen yet, if that’s alright, sorry.” 

De Silva indicated he was looking at the big picture: "Well my contract is for five years so it’s a very long time and I’m still very young, obviously 18.

"The first year for me it’s just, getting a feel for the club, getting a feel for what the players are like and the coach but obviously the coaches can change so easily in Europe.

"Yeah, just getting a feel for the club, and a feel for the style of play and everything like that. Maybe I can try push into the first team, obviously it will be difficult at the start, being so young and everything, but just working hard in training and build some friendships with the players and everything and yeah build a real feel for the club." 

De Silva is the third Australian to link up with Roda and will join Socceroos striker Tomi Juric and ex- Glory and Central Coast Mariners midfielder Rostyn Griffiths.

Roda JC Kerkrade Managing Director Wim Collard today said he was pleased to have a young Australian join the club.

“We are very pleased that Daniel has come to enforce our team,” Collard said.

“We can use him for several positions on the midfield and internationally he is known for his great talent. I expect that he will bring us a lot of joy and success in the coming two seasons.”