Chelsea and Manchester United are reportedly set to battle it out for the signing of AS Roma defender Gianluca Mancini in the summer transfer window.

According to a report from the Express, Premier League heavyweights, Manchester United and Chelsea could be poised for a transfer battle in the summer over the potential signing of AS Roma’s Italian defender Gianluca Mancini.

The 24-year-old came up through the youth ranks at Fiorentina and had stints at Perugia and Atalanta before he ended up at AS Roma in the summer of 2019. Since joining, Mancini has been pretty much a permanent fixture at the back for Paulo Fonseca’s side, making 68 appearances so far.

Mancini has missed just three Serie A games this season for Roma, one due to suspension and the remaining two due to an injury. In all, the Italian centre-back has managed 27 appearances across all competitions in 2020/21, chipping in with a handy tally of five goals and two assists.

Mancini’s performances at both ends of the pitch seem to have attracted the attention of both Manchester United and Chelsea, who are now interested in snapping up the four-time capped Italian international in the summer transfer window.

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Chelsea have a stacked centre-back department as things stand, with Thomas Tuchel able to call upon Cesar Azpilicueta, Thiago Silva, Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen and Kurt Zouma. In addition, the likes of Fikayo Tomori, Marc Guehi and Ethan Ampadu are all out on loan.

However, Silva will be 37 years old in a few months while Azpilicueta, too, is into his thirties and needs to be phased out of the first-team slowly. Throw in the fact that Tomori could make his loan transfer to AC Milan permanent at the end of the season, it is understandable as to why Chelsea are looking for defensive reinforcements.

Manchester United, on the other hand, are on the lookout for a suitable long-term partner for club captain Harry Maguire. Both Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly have been plagued with injury issues and inconsistencies this term while Maguire himself has been unconvincing at times.

With young Axel Tuanzebe still lacking the experience at the highest level, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men are actively on the pursuit of a new centre-back and have been linked with a host of players including Milan Skriniar, who Chelsea are also keen on, as well as Kalidou Koulibaly.

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Now, Mancini has emerged as a target for the Premier League rivals. Roma, for their part, see the 24-year-old as a key player for the club but with finances affected by the pandemic, may be pushed into considering a sale. The report goes on to add that an offer of around £27 million could be enough to convince the Giallorossi to part ways with the defender.

It now remains to be seen if either Chelsea or Manchester United launch a move for Mancini in the summer or pursue alternate targets to bolster their defences.

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