Fabrizio Romano opens up about the transfer which changed his life forever
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Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano has covered thousands of stories over the years but one stands out amongst the rest because it 'changed his life' forever.
At the age of 18, an inexperienced Romano was looking for a breakthrough in the business as he worked for Italian outlet TuttoMercatoWeb in his native Italy.
Six months later and, after building a relationship with links to Barcelona, he received some inside information about Gerard Deulofeu and Mauro Icardi, who both spent time at La Masia.
Romano would eventually scoop an exclusive on Icardi's transfer from Sampdoria to Inter Milan, and the rest is history.
He has since covered some of the biggest transfer stories in football history, including Bruno Fernandes' move to Manchester United in the latter stages of the 2020 January transfer window.
In fact, Romano says covering the Fernandes story "changed his life" because he came to the realisation that this was the chance to do "something special on the European and international transfer market".
Speaking to The Rest Is Football podcast with Alan Shearer, Gary Lineker and Micah Richards, the Italian journalist explained further.
"I was reporting on Italian football until that moment, and also some things on European football. But that case with Bruno, it really changed my life.
"I had the story of Bruno joining Man Utd after spending the whole summer telling United fans on Twitter, 'No he's not coming.' People were shouting at me, saying, 'No... he's coming!'
"Then in January, when he joined the club, I had the picture of Bruno with his agent on a private flight ready to go to Manchester. That moment changed my life."
Fernandes would join the Old Trafford club from Sporting CP for £47 million; which was the second-highest fee for a Portuguese player at the time.
As mentioned earlier, Romano's first real scoop was Mauro Icardi's move from Sampdoria to Inter Milan in the summer of 2014.
Speaking to SPORTbible, he opened up about that deal over a Zoom call.
"He told me, 'If you can help me, I know you are a young journalist, could you do an article about two players I am talking with?'" Romano began.
"They were Gerard Deulofeu and Mauro Icardi. I started this relationship with him and it helped me because when Icardi arrived in Italy at Sampdoria and then Inter, I had the news. The Icardi news was for the first big one for me.
"I had the news outside the window; the agent called me in November and told me they found an agreement with Inter and that Inter are going to close the agreement with Sampdoria. He said, 'You can say the deal is almost done for the player to join not in January, but next summer.'
"That's how it started and I immediately loved this role of a journalist. The transfer market is a jungle I always say, you expect the unexpected every day and I like this feeling.
"In my opinion it's like playing football in a Champions League match, and when you break this kind of news it's like scoring a goal in the Champions League final."