Arsenal have reportedly approached AS Roma for the signing of defender Roger Ibanez along with Premier League rivals Everton and Leicester City.
According to a report from Italian outlet Calciomercato, Arsenal are among three Premier League clubs that have made an approach to sign Brazilian centre-back Roger Ibanez from Serie A outfit AS Roma.
Ibanez rose through the youth ranks at Brazilian outfit PRS FC and had stints at CS Sergipe and Fluminense before he moved to Europe in January 2019, when he signed for Atalanta. Having made just two appearances for the club, the 22-year-old switched to AS Roma in January earlier this year.
Ibanez was a fairly regular presence in the starting lineup for Giallorossi in the second half of the last season. And, he has managed to build upon a decent debut campaign, to become an ever-present figure at the heart of the AS Roma defence this term.
Indeed, the Brazilian has started in all but one of Roma’s Serie A matches this season, helping them to the third place in the table. And Ibanez’s rise to prominence in Italy hasn’t gone unnoticed, with Liverpool being linked with a move for him not so long ago.
Now, the aforementioned report is claiming that Arsenal, too, have approached Roma over the possibility of signing the Brazilian centre-back. As things stand, the Gunners already have a host of options in the central defensive department.
However, it must be noted that Sokratis Papastathopoulos is out of favour while both Shkodran Mustafi and David Luiz are out of contract at the end of the season. Furthermore, William Saliba seems to have failed to make the desired impression on manager Mikel Arteta and faces an uncertain future at the club as well.
So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Arsenal are looking to bolster their defensive ranks with Ibanez’s signing. However, the Gunners are not the only Premier League club looking at him with both Leicester City and Everton also having made enquiries for Ibanez.
Leicester will need to replace club captain Wes Morgan who is in the twilight of his career while Everton need more depth in the centre-back area, considering that Carlo Ancelotti has been using the likes of Ben Godfrey and Mason Holgate in the full-back areas of late. So, Ibanez would be a viable target for either clubs.
Roma, though, are planning to offer a new contract to Ibanez with a significant pay raise, that would see his stay at the club extended till 2025.
However, they would be open to a sale should an offer in the range of €30-35 million come along, although they are entitled to pay 10% of any transfer fee to Atalanta if the 22-year-old is sold before 2024. It remains to be seen if Arsenal or the other two clubs make a push to sign Ibanez in the near future.