Barcelona are reportedly readying an offer for AS Roma midfielder and captain Lorenzo Pellegrini, who is also a summer transfer target for Liverpool.
According to a report from Spanish publication Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona are preparing to make an opening offer to secure the services of Italian international midfielder Lorenzo Pellegrini from Serie A side AS Roma in the summer.
A product of the AS Roma youth academy, Pellegrini made his first-team debut for the Giallorossi in 2015 before signing for Sassuolo in the summer that year. After two years with the Neroverdi, the midfielder returned to Roma in 2017 and has been an ever-present in the middle of the park since, racking up 152 appearances for the club in which he has 21 goals and 34 assists.
Pellegrini was elevated to the status of club captain last season. While the campaign wasn’t all too memorable for Roma as they finished seventh in Serie A, the 24-year-old led by example, amassing an impressive tally of 11 goals and 9 assists from 47 games, even though he shuttled between various roles in the middle of the park.
Pellegrini’s solid season saw him get called up to the Italy national team for the UEFA Euro 2020, but a muscle injury sustained in training earlier this week has seen him get ruled out. Nevertheless, despite missing out on the European Championships, the 24-year-old is attracting serious interest from clubs in Europe ahead of the summer, as he is entering the final year of his contract with Roma.
Indeed, Liverpool have been heavily linked with a move for Pellegrini, and understandably so as they look to replace Georginio Wijnaldum. The Dutchman completed a transfer to Paris Saint-Germain on a Bosman earlier this week, leaving a gaping hole in the Reds’ midfield unit. With the likes of Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain also staring at uncertain futures at Anfield, a move for someone like Pellegrini makes a lot of sense.
However, Barcelona, too, have now entered the fray for the signing of the Italian international. The Catalans were intent on signing Wijnaldum from Liverpool but saw the 30-year-old snub them in a last-minute swerve, which has left them scouring the transfer market for alternatives. Inter Milan’s Nicolo Barella has emerged as a viable target, as has Roma captain Pellegrini.
The need for a new midfielder at Barcelona is pretty much apparent as well, considering that Sergio Busquets is entering the final phase of his career, whereas Miralem Pjanic is set to depart the club only a year after signing for the Catalan giants from Juventus. All things considered, a central midfielder like Pellegrini, who is experienced and has his best years in front of him, would be a solid addition for Ronald Koeman & co.
To that end, Barcelona are now readying an offer to sign the 24-year-old from Roma. However, they will face competition from Liverpool as well as Atletico Madrid. In addition, the report states that Serie A club Atalanta have an option to sign Pellegrini for a fee of €20 million this summer. However, any move would depend on the player agreeing a switch to Bergamo.
As things stand, it seems like Barcelona are stepping up their interest in Pellegrini. Whether they can beat Liverpool and others in the race for his transfer remains to be seen.