Arsenal open talks to sign £24.4m Roma defender Alessio Romagnoli

Arsenal are apparently in talks with Serie A giants Roma over a deal for young defender Alessio Romagnoli, according to the Daily Express.

The Express believe that Arsene Wenger is looking at the 20-year-old centre-back as an eventual replacement for the ageing Per Mertesacker, but could face some competition from sleeping Italian giants AC Milan for his signature.

Italian newspaper Gazzetta Dello Sport claims that Milan have held a long standing interest in the player and have already had three bids knocked back for his services by the capital-based side, leading the paper to claim that Arsenal will look to sneak in under their nose to make a bid of their own.

The report in The Express states that Roma clearly value the youngster and have placed a £24.4m price tag around his neck, so what Arsene Wenger does next will likely show how much he wants the player or not.

Romagnoli has only made 14 appearances for Roma since making his breakthrough in the 2012/13 season, but he impressed whilst on loan with Sampdoria last term, where he chalked up 32 appearances across all competitions, scoring twice in the process.

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