Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur are both on the lookout for central midfielders this summer.
The Gunners are in need of a replacement for Aaron Ramsey who will officially join Juventus at the beginning of next month, but with a limited transfer budget Unai Emery will have to be shrewd in the market.
Meanwhile, their north London rivals could find themselves in a situation where they must sign a couple of midfielders; one to fill the Mousa Dembele-shaped hole and another to replace Christian Eriksen.
Therefore, links to Lorenzo Pellegrini should come as no surprise to supporters of both clubs and with the international transfer window now open, there’s nothing stopping a quick deal.
Both clubs have reportedly held talks with the player’s representatives over a potential move to north London this summer, but who will win the transfer battle?.
With that said, here’s all you need to know about Lorenzo Pellegrini.
Who is he?
Lorenzo Pellegrini is a 22-year-old midfielder who currently plays in Italy with AS Roma.
Born in Rome, Italy, Pellegrini is a product of the Giallorossi’s academy and was handed his senior debut by Rudi Garcia in a 1-0 win over Cesena on March 22, 2015.
However, a few months later he was changing clubs, signing for Sassuolo in deal which saw Roma retain a buy-back-clause which they activated two years later after the midfielder impressed in the top flight of Italian football.
Furthermore, the midfielder is an Italy international and has won 10 caps since making his debut in 2017.
How did he perform this season?
Pellegrini had a decent 2018/2019 campaign, but would probably be the first to admit there’s much more to come from him.
He found the net twice and registered three assists in 25 Serie A appearances as Roma somewhat surprisingly missed out on Champions League qualification, finishing sixth behind both Milan clubs.
The midfielder had three assists and one goal to his name in the Champions League, but couldn’t prevent Roma from crashing out at the round of 16 stage at the hands of Porto.
Predominately tasked with providing the link between midfield and attack, Pellegrini averaged 2.4 key passes per game this season in Serie A (via whoscored).
On the ball he’s assured. Recording an 80% pass accuracy and attempting 1.4 long balls per game.
What would excite both Emery and Pochettino is the fact that Pellegrini doesn’t shy away from his defensive responsibilities with 1.6 tackles and 0.5 interceptions per game in Serie A.
What other clubs are interested?
Unfortunately for the north London duo, they are not alone in the race to land Pellegrini.
AC and Inter Milan are also said to be very interested in raiding their Serie A rivals for the 22-year-old’s signature.
Spurs and the Nerazzurri could hold the advantage over Milan and Arsenal given they could offer Pellegrini Champions League football next season which is something Roma can’t do either.
How much would he cost?
According to the Daily Mirror, Roma don’t want to cash in on the 22-year-old just yet and are aiming to tie him to a new deal in order to remove a clause in his contract that says he can leave for €30m (£27m).
Furthermore, the report claims the fee would be payable in two equal instalments.
That would certainly suit Unai Emery and Arsenal as the Spaniard has a reported transfer budget of £45m following the club’s failure to qualify for the Champions League next season.
And given the recent links to Tanguy Ndombele, Giovani Lo Celso and Bruno Fernandes, signing Pellegrini would represent a cheaper deal for Spurs and Mauricio Pochettino.
What’s he said about his future?
As reported by the Italian media, Pellegrini seems to have indicated that he prefers to stay at Roma. Although he did hint at possibly wanting a new challenge if one was to present itself.
“Here, I’m at home, I’m fine. AS Roma is one of the most important clubs in the world,” he said. “I’m not looking around for other options, but let’s see.
“If I could remain here that would be something to be proud of, but there are certain dynamics that you can’t control.”