Arsenal and Tottenham are reportedly set to battle it out for the signing of AS Roma midfielder Lorenzo Pellegrini, who has a €30 million release clause.
According to a report from Italian publication Gazzetta dello Sport, as carried by Inside Futbol, North London rivals Arsenal and Tottenham will clash against each other in the transfer market, as they both wish to sign AS Roma and Italy midfielder Lorenzo Pellegrini.
Having come through the youth ranks at Roma, Pellegrini made his first-team debut back in 2015 itself, before joining Sassuolo later that summer. The midfielder returned to Stadio Olimpico in 2017 and has since become a key member of the Giallorossi, making 71 appearances till date.
The 2018-19 campaign saw Pellegrini feature on 33 occasions across all competitions, contributing with 4 goals and 7 assists. Just 22 years of age, the Italian midfielder has shown great quality and potential, leading to serious interest from a number of clubs from home and abroad. Arsenal and Tottenham are among his admirers, according to the report.
Arsenal will be in the market for a new central midfielder after seeing Aaron Ramsey leave for Juventus on a free transfer. The Gunners seem to be looking at Serie A to strengthen their options in the middle of the park, with Fiorentina star Jordan Veretout emerging as a potential target. However, as per the latest report, Pellegrini is also firmly on their radar.
But, they will have to battle it out with arch rivals Tottenham for the 22-year-old’s signature. The Champions League finalists are yet to replace Mousa Dembele, who left the club for China midway through last season, while Christian Eriksen’s uncertain future at the club further accentuates their need to sign a new midfielder in the summer transfer window.
Pellegrini, in his fledgling career, has shown he can be the ideal candidate for both Arsenal and Tottenham. The Italian is capable of essaying multiple roles in the centre of the park, be it as an advanced attacking midfielder or a defensive-minded holding midfielder.
At 22, he is only bound to improve from hereon, making him an attractive target for Unai Emery and Mauricio Pochettino. What makes Pellegrini even more appealing to both the Premier League clubs is that he has a release clause worth just €30 million in his contract, which, according to the report, can be paid over two instalments of €15 million each.
This is bound to appeal hugely to Arsenal, given that they will be operating on a tight budget, after having missed out on Champions League football for a third consecutive season. Tottenham too are known to be frugal in the transfer market lately and would be tempted to move in on a youngster with potential who will be available at a reasonable price.
To that end, both the clubs are already believed to have made contact with Pellegrini’s agent, but face competition from Serie A heavyweights AC Milan and Inter Milan. Roma, though, are not interested in a sale and are looking to tie the 22-year-old down to a new contract that would remove the existing release clause.
Given the amount of interest that Pellegrini is gathering, the 22-year-old could very well be on the move this summer. But, it remains to be seen if either of Arsenal or Tottenham decide to act on their reported interest.