After nearly returning to AS Roma late last summer, only to see his move fall apart at the last minute because the deal couldn't technically be completed before the transfer deadline, Stephan El Shaarawy has spent the bulk of the 2020-2021 season in isolation, splitting his time between Rome and Dubai. With most pundits assuming Roma and Shanghai Shenhua would simply resume negotiations once the winter transfer window opened, many Roma fans have been left frustrated by the delays, which have seen El Shaarawy connected to other Italian clubs while his brother-agent Manuel tried to broker a deal between Roma and Shanghai.

Following a rather cryptic Instagram post earlier today, in which El Shaarawy bid farewell to Dubai, the rumor mill immediately kicked into high gear bridging the gap between El Shaarawy's goodbye and his return to Roma.